Mojokerto, East Java (ANTARA) - The Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) will monitor efforts to develop sorghum to achieve national food security through food diversification to prevent dependence on rice as a source of carbohydrates.

One of the efforts made by BPOM is through a workshop titled "Security, Quality, and Nutrition Guarantee Workshop for Sorghum-Based Processed Food" to also commemorate the 2023 World Food Day.

"We initiated a workshop to integrate efforts from upstream to downstream for sorghum diversification. Sorghum is not only consumed as fresh food but can also be processed," Head of BPOM, Penny Lukito, stated at the event in Mojokerto, East Java, on Thursday.

This monitoring effort was conducted to achieve food security in Indonesia. If control from the upstream side is not optimal, then development on the downstream side cannot be carried out, as raw materials in the exact quantity and quality are not available, she explained.

On the other hand, Lukito pointed out that if the upstream side is developed, while the downstream side is stagnant, people's consumption of sorghum will not be optimal, which will result in prices falling and loss in sorghum farmers.

"On the downstream, our job is to provide permit and empower. Development in research and downstreaming must be monitored by BPOM," she remarked.

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Lukito stated that so far, the licensing process for sorghum has been considered to take a long time due to qualification standards that have not been met by the industry. Hence, her side is striving to monitor licensing from downstream.

Apart from downstream supervision, the BPOM also has a Special Allocation Fund of around Rp400 million to be utilized by business actors in developing sorghum, she remarked.

She believes that sorghum has the potential to be developed in Indonesia, as it suits the characteristics of the Indonesian region, such as hot weather.

Hence, to this end, the BPOM invites processed food business actors to use sorghum as raw material. The BPOM is ready to provide technical guidance and assistance to business actors, especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that produce sorghum.

Assistance will be provided through technical guidance on Good Processed Food Production Methods (CPPOB).

"After the technical guidance, participants, as food entrepreneurs, are expected to apply food safety aspects in every chain of processing to distribution of food products," Lukito stated.

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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