This is a firm stance and we fully support it. I think the president has conveyed that message on several occasions, but the bureaucracy below him is still slow to respond," a member of parliament applauds.
Sorghum is an important commodity that can be utilized as a replacement for wheat. For instance, the sorghum commodity can be processed into noodles for which wheat is still utilized in Indonesia, he explained.
President Joko Widodo in his speech said that since 2015 Indonesia has built many dams, rainwater reservoirs or reservoirs, and irrigation networks.
Bogor Agricultural University Offers Five Substitutes for Wheat in Noodles
TheIndonesia.id - Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), West Java, offers instant noodle producers to utilize researchers' innovations to use five high-yielding local food varieties, corn, canna, breadfruit, cassava, and sago, as a substitute for imported wheat. These innovations can solve the problem of dependency on imports.
"207 Million tons (wheat) are stuck in Ukraine and in Russia. This is a momentum for Indonesia to become more food-sovereign and not dependent on wheat and flour with this import substitution innovation," said IPB Chancellor Arief Satria to Antara in Bogor City, Sunday, August 14, 2022.
Satria said that currently, IPB has produced innovative noodle products from the five local staples that can be collaborated with quality instant noodle industry producers. With these various innovations, Satria believes, it is time for the government to provide a policy on the wheat imports ratio, substituting it with various local staples. So that we can achieve self-sufficiency such as rice.
"Well, I suggest to the government to implement a ratio policy. So every time it is imported, for example, 10 tons of wheat, the importer must buy several tons of local products. That's a ratio policy and it can be gradual," said the Chancellor.
The first stage, he said, still depends on local capacity. If the local capacity is 100 percent sufficient, starting with a "10 to 1-ton ratio", or in other words 10 tons of imported products and 1 ton of local products. Even if the local area has developed, it could be "10 to 5 tons" to "1 to 1 ton".
"If it's 1 to 1 (ratio), it's good. What does it mean? Local products will be absorbed. If local products will be absorbed, what does that mean? Villages grow. If villages grow, the economy grows," said Satria.
The Chancellor of IPB also stated that the threat of a food crisis that exists globally due to Russia's war with Ukraine could be a momentum to be more committed to food sovereignty and food self-sufficiency. "So we don't depend on the outside world anymore. We have a lot of lands, we have a lot of products, we have a lot of innovations to substitute that," he said.
Satrio also encouraged the government to have a supportive policy along with strong actions so that wheat substitution would be carried out immediately.
Director of Cereals at the Directorate General of Food Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture, M Ismail Wahab, on Saturday, August 13, said that to meet the domestic demand for wheat, which has risen in price due to the impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the government is considering several local food crops to substitute them, such as cassava, sago, and sorghum.
"I think sorghum has great potential to replace wheat," said Wahab.
Wahab emphasized that food technology assistance is needed to give sorghum the same ability as wheat, namely that it contains gluten or a substance that can expand when processed. In 2021 wheat imports will be recorded at 11.69 million tons.
The government targets to reduce imports of these commodities gradually, namely wheat imports to decrease by 5 percent this year, to decrease by 10 percent in 2023, until 2025, the wheat imports to decrease by 20 percent.