The Price of Imported Soybeans Surges: UMM Lecturer Provides Strategies for Tofu and Tempeh Producers

Author : Humas | Monday, November 27, 2023 08:08 WIB
"Dr. Ir. Anas Tain, M.M., Explains the Surgering Prices of Imported Soybeans (Photo: Laili Humas)

The year 2023 brings serious challenges for the tofu and tempeh industries in Indonesia due to the surge in prices of imported soybeans reaAs the main raw material, soybeans play a crucial role in the production of these two iconic Indonesian foods. The uncertainty surrounding the continuously rising prices of imported soybeans has created significant impacts, particularly on the production costs of tempeh and tofu.

In response to this, Dr. Ir. Anas Tain, M.M., a lecturer in Agribusiness at Muhammadiyah University of Malang (UMM), explains that this issue isn't new in Indonesia. Every year, the price of imported soybeans tends to rise.

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"In 2023, import bans and the increase in import product boycotts have disrupted the balance of supply and demand. When demand remains stable and supply decreases, the supply also diminishes," he elaborates.

In order to cope with rising production costs, many producers often make adjustments to their products. Some common steps taken include adjusting selling prices, reducing production quantities, increasing prices, or even reducing the size of products. However, Anas emphasizes that each action must align with the characteristics of the consumer segments. This includes understanding the concept of the elasticity of consumers towards price increases.

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"There are consumers whose behavior is inelastic. It means that they are not affected by price changes. Meanwhile, consumer's responsiveness to price changes can lead to a decrease in purchasing power, prompting producers to reduce production and shrink product sizes," he explains.

Furthermore, facing the increase in prices of imported soybeans is not an easy challenge. However, it can be overcome through creativity and commitment. According to him, diversification of raw materials can be the key to overcoming these price hikes

"For example, experimenting with making tempeh and tofu using cowpeas as a base material could be a concrete step in mitigating the surge in prices of imported soybeans. However, this step has not yet been widely adopted by the industry," he expresses concern.

Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of achieving self-sufficiency in local soybeans, not merely as a policy. If the local demand can be met, the use of local soybeans brings many benefits. It not only produces more delicious tempeh but can also be a long-term solution to minimize the impact of fluctuating prices of imported soybeans.

Unfortunately, producers tend to prefer imported soybeans due to their convenience and larger size. Hence, there is a need for collaboration among producers, consumers, and the government to find solutions to address the increase in prices of imported soybeans. "Full support is needed to create sustainability in the tofu and tempeh industries in Indonesia. Innovation, adaptation, and collective awareness are the main keys to preserving and maintaining the balance of the domestic industry," he concludes.(*lai/wil/fajr)



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