Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Food Agency (NFA), Arief Prasetyo Adi, has requested the state logistics bureau Bulog to support the distribution of soybeans to tofu and tempeh producers through cooperatives.

"We want to build an ecosystem that helps tofu and tempeh producers no longer face difficulties in obtaining raw materials (soybeans)," he said in a statement released on Thursday.

The ecosystem will aim to guarantee the stability of soybean availability for producers without being affected by price fluctuations, he noted at the annual meeting of the Association of Indonesian Tofu and Tempe Producers (Gakoptindo).

The NFA head also urged Bulog to serve as an off-taker and coordinate with Gakoptindo to absorb the harvests of farmers, making food state-owned enterprises (SOEs) the center of a closed-loop national soybean trade scheme.

"Through the scheme, SOEs and cooperatives will prepare soybean stocks for at least the next two to three months in accordance with the estimation of food supply balance to bolster soybean reserves," he informed.

Based on Prognosa Pangan (NFA's projection of food availability), the current national demand for soybeans has been recorded at 2.8 million tons, while domestic soybean production is only about 300 thousand tons.

Adi said that the deficit in the national soybean balance is an opportunity for soybean producers to increase domestic production, considering the large demand for the commodity.

Based on President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) directives, NFA has set a reference purchase price (HAP) for soybeans through NFA Regulation Number 11 of 2022.

The establishment of the regulation aims to maintain the balance of prices in the food chain, encourage farmers to increase soybean production, as well as strengthen government food reserves (CPP) for soybeans by making state-run companies standby buyers.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo said that he is optimistic Indonesia will become a world food barn by 2045 by optimizing the development of technology and existing natural resources.

Currently, his ministry is trying to implement pilot machinery technology for planting soybeans.

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Translator: Kuntum Riswan, Uyu Liman
Editor: Anton Santoso
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