Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has projected Indonesia`s soybean production at more than 1.3 million tons in 2008 in a bid to reduce dependence on imports of the commodity.
Agriculture Minister Anto Apriyantono said here on Wednesday the government would have to enhance the country`s self-sufficiency in soybean from 2015 to 2011 with a production of one to 1.3 million tons.
"At present, the government is in seeking prospective land and farmers," the minister said when opening a national working meeting of the agriculture ministry, on preparing a draft working plan for 2009.
To expediate self-sufficiency in food, he added, the government had allocated Rp1 trillion, which included Rp600 billion for soybean cultivation.
While 15 percent was deducted from the budget, he added, it was not necessary for the agriculture ministry to complain as the government will provide an additional Rp1 trillion to boost the production of soybean and corn.
In addition, the government has also provided a model of soybean development, including an integrated soybean development school and soybean estate involving private and state companies as well as speeding up the expansion with of partnership with the manufacturers.
According to data of the Food Crops Directorate General of the Agriculture Ministry, some 200,000 hectares of land in 70 districts and 20 provinces are to be provided for in field school program on soybean development.
By enhancing self-sufficiency, the government hoped that soybean imports would be reduced to 1.3 tons.
With an average per capita consumption of 10 kg per year, 2.1 to 2.2 tons of boybean are needed to meet the soybean needs of Indonesia`s 220 million people.
According to data of the agriculture ministry Indonesia`s soybean imports in 1990 reached less than 500,000 tons per year worth USD128 million.
The imports of soybean had been declining from year to year. For example, in 2000 the imports reached 1.3 tons worth USD300 million which dropped to 1.1 tons from 2001 to 2005 worth USD358 million, the equivalent of Rp3.58 trillion.(*)