BRIN Encourages More Sorghum Consumption to Reduce Wheat Import

Diana Mariska
Sorghum illustration (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)
Sorghum illustration (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has called for more sorghum consumption as a wheat alternative in order to reduce Indonesia’s dependence on grain exports amid the ongoing global food crisis.

Head of BRIN Laksana Tri Handoko encouraged more use of sorghum as alternative for wheat, so grain import to Indonesia can be gradually reduced.

“We can, in fact, partially replace [wheat] with sorghum,” Handoko said on Wednesday, August 10, as reported by Antara.

Sorghum flour, he explained, can be mixed into wheat flour which can be used to make various food, including bread.

“If, say, 15 percent of sorghum flour is put into the mix, it will not become too different. The bread will still be as tasty,” Handoko said.

The BRIN leader also said research into wheat varieties that can be cultivated in tropical Indonesia continues, but it still needs to be perfected to eventually create satisfactory result.

“There has been tropical wheat, but the variety has yet to be optimized,” he revealed.

Since Ukraine is one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, the ongoing war with Russia has disrupted grain supply chain. And Indonesia, which heavily relies on Ukrainian wheat, has been impacted by the disorder.

And in response to the issue, Handoko said BRIN’s works will continue to support national food security through research and innovation to encourage optimized food production, discovery of superior varieties, and transition to sustainable energy.

“Food and energy are our most pressing needs for now, especially since pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine conflict create such an immense consequences to global food and energy,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, sorghum was first cultivated in Indonesia in the 1970s, and the plant can be found in many regions in Indonesia, including Java, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi.

Almost all parts of the plant – including seeds, seed stalks, leaves, stems and roots – can be used as raw materials for different industries, including for the production of syrup, sugar, handicrafts, starch, biomass, bioethanol, and wheat flour substitute.

Tag # indonesia sorghum # wheat alternatives # indonesia agriculture # global food crisis # ministry of agriculture # agriculture sector in indonesia # national research and innovation agency # brin

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