Biotech Updates

Indonesia Opts for GM Soybean to Increase National Production

September 21, 2022

President Jokowi leads a limited meeting on increasing soybean productivity, Monday (09/19), at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta. (Photo by: PR of Cabinet Secretariat/Jay, Office of the Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation)

In official statements released by the government of Indonesia, President Joko Widodo is said to have spoken with Minister Airlangga Hartarto of the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs to encourage farmers to use superior soybean varieties that have been genetically modified (GM) to maintain national food security.

The statements come after Indonesia's soybean production continues to decline and the President was said to have given directions to improve the country's situation and become less dependent on imports. Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo also stated that Indonesia will use GM soybeans or imported seeds, if necessary, while still preparing superior domestic varieties. The government is open to all available solutions to encourage Indonesian soybean farmers to plant soybeans again after switching to planting maize. Using GM soybeans can increase the production per hectare from 1.6-2 tons per hectare to 3.5-4 tons per hectare according to Minister Airlangga, which is consistent with Minister Syahrul's goal to increase production from 1.5 tons per hectare to 3-4 tons per hectare.

This initiative will be complemented with a directive to set the soybean price that is fair to the farmers, along with the Ministry of Agriculture's plans to allot a sufficient budget to expand the areas for planting soybeans to 300,000 hectares this year and 600,000 hectares next year.

For more information, see the statements from the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Office of the Assistant to the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents and Translation.

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