USSEC Supports Small-Holder Soyfood Industries in Indonesia
- General News
USSEC continues to support the soyfood industry in Indonesia through recent collaborative activities with local cooperative KOPTI Bogor District in East Java. On March 3, USSEC Assistant Soyfood Program Manager Muhammad Ridha attended a ceremony aimed at promoting new equipment standards for the local tofu and tempe industry.
Jointly organized by the Ministry of Cooperatives (MoC), Minsitry of Agriculture (MoA), medium-and-small enterprises (MSMEs) and National Standards Body, the event featured the signing of an memorandum of understanding (MoU) betwen the MoC, MoA and National Standards Body. The aim of this MoU was to formalize support for the application of productivity-enhancing technologies for MSMEs, aiding them in improving overall competitiveness. The minister of cooperatives, deputy minister of agriculture, head of the National Standards Body and representatives from various MSMEs attended the ceremony.
Government bodies (MoC, MoA and the National Standards Body) have pledged to distribute equipment to MSMEs in selected parts of Indonesia. These come equipped with technology developed by KOPTI Bogor District that caters specifically to the needs of MSMEs. This backing marks positive outcome from USSEC’s efforts in technology promotion and advocacy, with the support of other stakeholders such as Mercy Corps working with KOPTI Bogor District.
To increase public awareness of the benefits of soyfood consumption, USSEC partnered with KOPTI Bogor District to bring a group of students to visit Rumah Tempe Indonesia (RTI), translated as “House of Tempe.” On March 24, 100 students from the Lazuardi Junior High School in Jakarta, along with their teachers, visited RTI to learn more about tempe making. Mr. Endang from KOPTI Bogor District presented the benefits of tempe consumption and outlined each step of the tempe manufacturing process in detail.
Despite consuming tempe almost daily, many students had never seen tempe making before, and were excited to be able to apply concepts from their biology lessons on food fermentation and ragi (starter spores). With the positive feedback received, the school has decided to visit RTI next year with more of their students.
On March 31, USSEC, in collaboration with KOPTI Bogor District, conducted a training event as part of a series of training sessions in 2015 for tofu and tempe producers from MSMEs in Bogor. The one-day training was attended by some 40 tofu and tempe producers. A key issue raised was the challenges facing tofu and tempe producers with the start of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community, a free-trade zone in ASEAN member-states.
As part of the training, participants learned more about the processes and best practices undertaken by the tofu and tempe industry outside Indonesia, to serve as benchmarks that could motivate them to improve their own production processes.