Soy-based foods, such as tempeh, tofu, and oncom, are among the most-consumed and staples in Indonesia. The tofu and tempeh industry, which belongs to the small or home industry, alone has a production value of IDR 92.3 trillion and an added value of IDR 37.3 trillion. Ironically, Indonesia’s domestic soybean production can only fulfill 10% of the country’s annual needs, compelling the government to meet the remaining 90% through imports. Of the 3.6 million ton demand for soybeans, local producers managed to yield 340,000 tons only.
According to Atris Suyantohadi, local soybean production continues to decline due to low market prices, which are below the production cost, lack of soybean price guarantees, which triggers farmers’ reluctance to cultivate soybeans, and a decrease in soybean land, from 1.3 million hectares in 1990 to 621,000 hectares in 2005.
“The lack of domestic soybean availability provides opportunities for foreign countries to export soybeans to Indonesia,” said the agroindustrial technology expert on Thursday (5/8).
Atris continued, lack of technology advances and the absence of a proper post-harvest management system, from post-harvest handling technology, storage procedures in warehouses, soybean processing to marketing to consumers and industry players, contributed to low soybean productivity in Indonesia.
“This drawback has an impact on the quality of soybeans produced (below standard),” he said.
Attempting to fix the situation, Atris initiated the adoption of smart enterprise practices in soybean production called Smart Soybean Enterprise. It is an information technology-based soybean agribusiness and agroindustry system to help optimize productivity. The system manages cultivation, the number of seeds, contract farming, cultivation SOPs, pest management, post-harvest handling, and soybean yields that meet the standard of industrial raw materials and are qualified for food product processing. He added this development model could protect prices, schedule and manage delivery to consumers and industry players, and process soybeans into food products.
“This system can connect players in the soybean trading system and help and maintain product continuity throughout the year,” he said.
Currently, the Smart Soybean Enterprise is adopted at the Warehouse Receipt System Office of Bantul Regency. The program involves a Penta-helix collaboration between the government, relevant industries, farmer groups, academics, and media. In 2020, within a year of operating, it has partnered with 2,200 farmers, utilized 294 hectares of land, absorbed 8,820 workers, and supported the rural economy.
Author: Gusti Grehenson