Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government still sees no urgency in subsidizing soybean despite its spiraling price in recent weeks, Deputy Agriculture Minister Rusman Heriawan said here on Tuesday.

He recalled the government subsidized Rp1,000 to every kg of soybean four years ago when the price of the commodity increased but the subsidy gave no impact whatsoever.

"Subsidy is not a good discourse we have to pursue because it will only give a short term impact. In fact, farmers did not benefit from the subsidy four years ago," he said.

He said the recent soybean price hike was the result of drought in the US, the world`s largest soybean supplier. Because of limited supplies, global soybean price had risen over the past few weeks.

The soybean price would fall if the US soybean production returned to normal, he said.

Right now Indonesia depended 70 percent of its soybean needs on imports, while the remaining 30 percent came from local production, he said.

The former chief of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) said soybean growers got nothing when the soybean price was on the increase. However, when the harvest time came soybean price fell again.

Therefore, now was the right momentum to start increasing soybean production, he said.

"Don`t miss this momentum," he said.

Responding to soybean cake and tofu producers` threat to stop production if the soybean price continued to soar, he said they`d better drop their plan.

The threat, if realized, could disrupt the supply of soybean cake and tofu to the public, he said.

Yet he did not want to see soybean cake and tofu producers suffering further losses because of the soybean price hike.

He asked buyers to pay more for soybean cake and tofu to compensate for the soybean price hike. (S012/A014)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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