(We) have listened to inputs from tofu and tempeh producers. We will make every effort to get the soybean subsidy disbursed per year rather than every month or two months.
Bandarlampung, Lampung (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has decided to extend the soybean subsidy of Rp1 thousand per kilogram for tofu and tempeh producers until December 2022.

The decision to extend the subsidy is aimed at stabilizing the price of soybeans, which has currently increased to Rp13 thousand per kilogram, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said here on Friday.

"(We) have listened to inputs from tofu and tempeh producers. We will make every effort to get the soybean subsidy disbursed per year rather than every month or two months," he informed.

The minister expressed the hope that the subsidy will help tofu and tempeh producers survive by selling their products at fair prices and buying raw materials at affordable prices.

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"If the producers get fair prices, then their production will run smoothly and the public can afford to buy the products," he explained.

Meanwhile, chief of the Indonesian Association of Tofu and Tempeh Producer Cooperatives, Aip Syarifuddin, welcomed the government's decision to extend the soybean subsidy.

He said the subsidy will help tofu and tempeh producers very much and expressed the hope that it will be realized soon.

"We hope it can be disbursed soon so that production is not disrupted and tofu and tempeh consumption can be maintained," he added.

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Indonesia still imports a significant quantity of soybeans to meet domestic needs.

During a recent meeting held to discuss governance and ways to boost soybean productivity at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, President Joko Widodo had issued directions asking cabinet ministers to no longer rely on imports for maintaining domestic soybean stocks.

“Mr. President wants to not be 100-percent dependent on imports (for domestic soybean stocks), because almost all the demand for 2.4 (million tons sourced from) national production continues to decline," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, informed at the Presidential Palace.

Therefore, President Widodo urged state-owned enterprises (BUMN) to purchase the commodity from farmers at a predetermined price.

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Translator: Ruth Intan SK, Suharto
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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