Food imports still happen to Indonesia, such as rice, corn, soybeans, meat and fish. It is ironic that this occurs in the country of rich natural resources and Bung Karno reminded us 53 years ago to strengthen people's food and to become a strong and independent nation. This message was expressed in the opening of establishing Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) as the institution required to meet the food needs of the people.
With such motivation and spirit, IPB continues to make a breakthrough in the field of food, by improving researches and innovations adapted to the nation condition. One form of innovations that has begun to be adapted is the water-saturated cultivation technology for soybean plants. The evidence of these efforts was on Tuesday (6/9), IPB leaders and Jambi Governor and the Minister of Agriculture officially did a big harvest of soybean planted using the technology on 500 hectares of land in Simpang Village, Berbak District, Tanjung Jabung Timur Regency, Jambi Province. IPB team involved in the harvest were the Head of Research and Community Service Institute (LPPM) Dr. Prastowo; Director of Bogor Life Science Technology (BLST) Dr. Meika Syahbana Rusli; Director of Cooperation and International Programs (KSPI) IPB Dr. Eddy Hartulistiyoso; and Dr. Sam Herodian who is an expertise staff in the Minister of Agriculture. From Jambi province, also present during the harvest were Regents, Heads of the Military Forces and Police, as well as Deputy Governor of Jambi and related Regional Working Units (SKPD).
Soybeans which began to be harvested are those planted on tidal land, covering 400 hectares of yellow soybean and 100 hectares of black soybean. The yields harvested account for approximately 2.1 to 2.5 tons per hectare, which is higher than average national production of 1.3 tons per hectare. Prof.Dr. Memen Surahman and Prof. Munif Ghulamahdi of IPB’s Faculty of Agriculture, the inventors of the water-saturated cultivation technology, are confident this technology will be able to answer the question of soybean imports by optimizing the tidal land.
In order to create a comprehensive production system, the production components must be connected to the market system that benefit farmers. On that occasion IPB invited BLST to control the market so that the people’s harvest will get to the market at reasonable prices. In this initial stage, PT BLST according to its Director Dr. Meika Syahbana Rusli is in cooperation with PT. Unilever to absorb the farmer’s black soybeans, while the yellow soybeans will be linked to the downstream markets such as tofu and tempe.
Given the development of the soybean with this good harvest, in 2017, 500 hectares of land will be planted with soybeans in Tanjung Jabung Timur of the total potential land of 51 thousand hectares, and 100 hectares will be in the Regency of Muaro Jambi. With a relatively short tidal it is expected that farmers can manage the time effectively for planting soybeans. To be more effective, the Local Government will also provide facilities for drying, tarpaulins, and floodgates to enable the planting to run well.
The people’s expectation in this harvest is a good road transportation, and assured market uptake after harvest. Even farmers are willing to grow black soybeans if PT. Unilever can absorb their harvest. Their motivation needs to be appreciated so that the dream of self-sufficiency in soybeans could be realized, and we become independent and sovereign in food.