Mon, 17 Mar 2008
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is studying the possibility of importing soybean from Brazil in an effort to reduce its dependence on the commodity from the United States, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said here on Saturday.

The minister said that the quality of Brazil`s soybean was good and its price was competitive. "We hope that the import from Brazil will be carried out by private businesses," he said.

On the private businesses, he mentioned among other things the Indonesian Cooperatives Council (Dekopin) and Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI).

The minister said the benefits earned from importing Brazil`s soybean would be used to develop soybean at home so that Indonesia in the long run would no longer depend on imports.

Data at the Ministry of Agriculture indicated that the annual need for soybean at home reached 1.7 million tons while the yearly production at home is only about 600-700 thousand tons.

In order to meet the domestic demand, Indonesia imports 1.2 million tons of soybean a year, of which 90 percent are from the United States.

Explaining his recent visit to Brazil, Apriyantono said the country had carried out advanced soybean agriculture as the commodity had been cultivated in the estate form.

Brazil`s soybean estates reached 21 million hectares, exceeding even the whole agricultural areas in Indonesia.

The productivity of soybean in Brazil reached three tons per hectare, far higher than that in Indonesia which stood at 1.3 tons per hectare only. (*)



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