Tofu producers in Bandung raise prices by 25 percent
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Tofu and tempeh producers in Bandung, West Java, have agreed to raise the price of their products by up to 25 percent following a production strike from Wednesday until Friday.
Endang, a tofu producer in the Cibuntu area, said the sale price would increase by 25 percent on average. “If the price was Rp 400, it will be raised to Rp 500,” Endang said in Bandung on Friday. Besides raising the price, Endang, who supplies tofu to the Kosambi market in Bandung, has also decided to reduce the size of his tofu. “If the size remained the same, it would be hard for us to make a profit,” added Endang.
The increase in the prices of tofu and tempeh is part of an agreement reached by tofu and tempeh producers. They went along with the instructions issued by the West Java chapter of the Indonesia Tofu and Tempeh Producers Cooperatives (Kopti) to go on strike, and they resumed production on Friday. They wanted the government to regulate the import regulation on soybeans. Consequently, the government has exempted 5 percent of the import duties for soybeans.
West Java Kopti head Asep Nurdin said the tax exemption had an impact on the slight drop of the price of soybeans. Asep expressed hope that tofu and tempeh producers and sellers would remain united. “No one should take advantage of the situation. This is an act of solidarity. If someone sells at a cheaper price, they need to be cautioned,” he said.
To prevent the price of soybeans from getting too high, head of the West Java Industrial and Trade Office Ferry Sofwan Arif said his office would list and provide data on soybean importers in the province. “We will ask for data from the ministry, and then forward it to cooperative heads, so they can buy soybeans directly at a reasonable price, not through middlemen,” said Ferry.
The West Java Food Crops and Agriculture Office will continue making efforts to intensify soybean farming. Office head Uneef Primadi said his office would provide subsidies to farmers in the form of fertilizer, pesticides and agricultural counselling. “Farmers only have to pay for land lease and wages. This way, they will be motivated to grow local varieties of soybeans,” he said.
The central government has set aside a subsidy of Rp 9 billion (US$954,000) for soybean cultivation this year, from which each of the farming communities will get assistance in the form of Rp 3.9 million. Currently, the soybean cultivation subsidy program in West Java has only reached 20,000 hectares with a production volume of 10,000 tons, whereas in fact the target was 53,000 hectares this year with a production volume of 85,000 tons.