Jakarta (ANTARA) - MPR Speaker Bambang Soesatyo has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to map the need for soybeans in Indonesia so that efforts can be made to increase soybean production.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Soesatyo said that it is necessary to increase production to meet the demand for soybeans, especially for the production of tofu and tempeh.

He made these remarks in response to data showing that Indonesia's soybean imports were still high. According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia imported 2.32 million tons of soybeans worth US$1.63 billion last year.

Therefore, it is crucial for the Ministry of Agriculture to identify suitable areas for soybean cultivation and make efforts to increase soybean production capacity, Soesatyo emphasized.

He also urged the ministry to help improve the welfare and income of soybean farmers, saying that the profit per hectare for soybean farmers is still lower compared to corn and rice growers.

"Ultimately, soybean farmers prioritize planting corn and rice because the profit is higher," he explained.

Soesatyo suggested that the ministry provide assistance and distribute superior soybean seeds to farmers as part of efforts to reduce dependence on soybean imports.

He also emphasized the importance of creating policies related to soybeans, including improving production, allocating land for cultivation, and imposing limitations on soybean imports.

Soesatyo expressed hope that there are right policies that stimulate an increase in domestic soybean supply without relying on imports.

Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade should formulate targeted policies that would encourage an increase in domestic soybean production, he added.

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Translator: Putu Indah, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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