Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki has said he is optimistic that jack or koro beans would be used as a substitute for soybeans in tempeh, tofu, and wheat flour in the near future.
The Indonesian government has encouraged a pilot project involving the planting of 100 hectares of koro beans that later will be expanded to 400 hectares in Sumedang, West Java, Masduki said.
“(We are) optimistic that koro beans can replace soybeans (as the ingredient for) wheat flour, and we are optimistic that this plantation can be widened again,” Masduki remarked at the 50th Movement Unity Day of Family Welfare Empowerment (PKK) in Bogor city on Friday.
Amid rising soybean prices, koro beans, if combined with cassava flour, can be processed into flour that can fully replace wheat flour, he said.
Similarly, jack beans can be used as the basic ingredient to make tempeh instead of soybeans, he pointed out.
The expansion of koro bean plantations will be strategic since the country currently imports 95 percent of its soybean needs and 60 percent of it is used for tempeh production, he said.
The substitution can be realized if koro bean-based processed foods such as flour, milk, and tempeh become popular in the community.
Currently, the need for nuts in Indonesia has reached 2.7 million tons per year, Masduki noted. As part of efforts to meet the supply of nuts in the country, the ministry is ready to use koro beans as an alternative, he said.
“I am very happy today, it turned out that koro beans can be processed into various varieties of food,” he said.
He said koro beans are a suitable substitute for soybeans because they are easy to plant as they can be grown in many soil conditions.
“Koro beans can be planted on marginal soils, tegal-tegal, and unproductive gardens,” Masduki explained.
Source: Antara News