JAKARTA, INDONESIA – Despite the government’s plan to increase soybean production, Indonesia’s projections for MY 2021-22 are down from last year, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Production is estimated at 425,000 tonnes, compared to 475,000 tonnes in 2020-21. The area planted is reduced as farmers prefer more lucrative crops like corn and rice, the USDA said, adding that there is continued land conversion in major growing regions.
The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) had planned to increase soybean production by 500,000 tonnes between July and September 2021. The plan proposes a new plantation area of up to 325,000 hectares in six provinces.
“Funding to support the initiative has been offered from a variety of sources, including the national budget, loan programs and private investment, but it is not known whether funding has been secured,” said the USDA.
The plan is likely to face challenges from farmers who can derive more income from rice and maize. In addition, the lack of high-yielding varieties and new land to expand the acreage presents obstacles to increasing production, the USDA said.
“Perhaps the most important challenge to increasing soybean production are the policies that encourage the production of corn and paddy,” the USDA said. “Most of the food crop farmers on the island of Java (the main soybean growing area) alternate their crops between growing rice, corn and pulses. Government support for food crops promotes paddy and maize production through various support structures ranging from fertilizers, seeds, improved infrastructure and minimum producer prices.
The demand for local rice and corn is also greater than that for soybeans.
The USDA expects soybean imports to reach 2.8 million tonnes in 2021-22, an increase of 100,000 tonnes from 2020-21, due to increased demand from the soybean industry. tempeh and tofu, which is expected to rebound alongside the broader restaurant industry due to travel and social distancing. the restrictions are lifted.