The Jakarta Post
Indonesia is seeking to work with the US state of Indiana by importing more soybeans and in turn expanding the market for tempeh, a traditional Indonesian soybean-based culinary product, in the state.
At a luncheon held with city officials and business owners on Monday at Mayasari Grill Restaurant in Greensburg City, Indonesia consul general in Chicago Meri Binsar Simorangkir said Indonesia and Indiana had conducted soybean trade since 2007.
Meri said Indonesia needed at least 2.5 million tons of soybeans a year for its domestic consumption, while it can only produce about 320,000 tons per year. The high demand means that Indonesia continues to be one of the strategic partners for US soybean farmers.
“Among other regions in the US, Indonesia imported high numbers of soybean from the Midwest. Indiana, famous for its high-quality soybeans, could have a larger share of the pie,” Meri said in a written statement on Tuesday.
He added that Indonesia and Indiana could develop cooperation beyond trade, such as knowledge-transfer through a pilot project of producing premium soybean seed in Indonesia. The Indonesian government is also committed to financing an internship program for Indonesian farmers in Greensburg farms.
Meri also extolled the uniqueness of tempeh during the luncheon. “Tempeh is extremely nutritious and a tasty, good protein source for vegans. It is a fermented food that characterizes Indonesia, just as kimchi does for Korea or miso and natto do for Japan”, he said.