The minister was accompanied by Food Crop Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture Undoro Kasih, NTB Governor TGH M Zainul Majidi and other relevant officials.
The soybean grand harvest covered an area of 70 hectares in one of the country`s soybean production centers in Lombok Island, NTB.
On the sidelines of the harvest, Minister Suswono said that the country`s need for soybean reached 2.5 million tons per annum but its domestic production was only about 700 thousands and 800 thousand tons a year.
So, the country still lacks some 1.7 million to 1.8 million tons, forcing it to import the commodity to meet its domestic need.
Therefore, the minister encouraged various regions to increase their soybean production in an effort to reduce import.
"If NTB as one of the country`s regions which are expected to serve as a national soybean production center, could produce up to one million tons per annum, the central government will provide it with significant funding support," the minister said.
In the meantime, NTB Governor TGB M Zainul Majdi also encouraged farmers to expand their soybean plantations and increase their soybean production.
He promised to absorb farmers` soybean production so that it would encourage them to develop soybean plantations.
The governor told the farmers to continue to work in expanding their soybean plantation, promising that the state logistics board Bulog and traders would buy their products.
Head of NTB`s Food Crop and Agriculture Service Husni Fahri said on the occasion that his office would continue to bridge farmers and Bulog so that gamers` soybean production would be absorbed.
According to Husni Fahri, Bulog would purchase farmers` soybean based on the government`s sanctioned price of Rp7,000 per kg for soybean with a maximum water content of 14 percent.
With such a market price guarantee, farmers would be encouraged to cultivate soybean plantations.
"Even, the price of soybean with water content of up to 20 percent still could reach Rp6,000 per kg," he said.
He said that soybean production in NTB had been increasing from year to year. In the previous years, the province`s soybean production was in average of 70 thousand to 80 thousand tons per annum, now it has reached 120 thousand tons.
In the meantime, NTB`s need for soybean was recorded at only 34 thousand tons so that there was a production surplus. The average soybean production per hectare of NTB`s plantations reaches 1.2 tons to 1.4 tons. So, NTB through its district of central Lombok and Bima, becomes one of the country`s national soybean production centers.