JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Rising global soybean prices and a tempeh strike has driven Indonesia to implement a three-phase plan, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The National Association of Tempe and Tofu Producers (GAKOPTINDO) organized a three-day strike in early January to bring light to the issue. The increased soybean prices are affecting the tempeh and tofu producers’ profit margins. The strike led the government of form a three-phase plan.

The plan includes:

  • Market operations, where importers would be required to sell soybeans at a loss to tempeh and tofu makers
  • Partnership agreements between importers and soybean farmers, which would require importers to absorb local soybeans at fixed prices
  • Classifying soybeans as a strategic commodity, allowing Indonesia to place restrictions on imports.

The USDA forecasts Indonesia’s soybean production to total 470,000 tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year. Despite incentivization, Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture struggles to meet its increased soybean production goal due to reduced land availability and farmer willingness to plant soybeans over more profitable crops.