Knowledge and Luxury in a piece of Soybean Cake

Lately my favorite fried tempe turns a luxurious food. The side-dish which I usually take with fresh chili nowadays becomes a hot topic in most of news headline. Why? The cause lies at the price of soybean which doubles and tempe, also known as soybean cake, is made of soybean.
It’s very saddening. We know that tahu and tempe can’t be deprived from Indonesian ever-day life. It’s everywhere. Rarely do we know any food vendors don’t offer tempe or tahu for their customers. Tahu and tempe are manifested in many kind of forms. Fried, filled with stuffing, or cooked with other ingredients. In short, tempe and tahu are “ubiquitous” in Indonesia. They go in every layer of Indonesian social class. The tempe and tahu entrepreneurs, mostly of them are small entrepreneurs, face difficulties. The expensive-soybean price has put them in a trouble. They don’t have a choice but increasing the price of tempe and tahu. Nevertheless, the price increment can’t compensate the profit they lose.
Suddenly, this case opens our eyes that soybean isn’t merely about the agriculture commodity that is cultivated, harvested, stored and traded. We know how hard the negotiation on the elite stage to decide if we should import more soybean, from where and how much. We know that our government imposes customs for the imported soybean to protect the uncompetitive local soybean. And now, the customs should be waived temporarily to decrease the imported soybean and the demand can be fulfilled immediately.
Maybe some of us know that Indonesia experienced golden-age of soybean self-sufficiency. It was 1992. The soybean trade was regulated by our government and protected from the liberal world trade system. The local soybean’s price was still promising that our farmers were competing to cultivate it. As result, we could fulfill our own soybean demand. Then when we plunged in to the system of market liberation, the local soybean had to be in line with the world trade system and price. Soybean with the best quality is the most expensive one (soybean from USA in this case), while our local soybean is valued less that those from USA, Brazil and Argentina. That explains why soybean is no longer likely to succeed in the eyes of our farmers. They plant another commodity which promises great gain. Suddenly I wander when we can be in era just like our previous golden age.
Should this problem remains unsolved, I am afraid tempe and tahu will be another luxury for my descendants. I wish this non-cholesterol side-dish still can be affordable for all of Indonesian in many coming years ahead.

16 thoughts on “Knowledge and Luxury in a piece of Soybean Cake

  1. kemaren-kemaren tempe kualitas dalam negri emang kurang, dan harga jg lebih mahal dari tempe import. Karena sistem negara kita yang lebih liberal dan lebih kapitalis daripada negara pusat liberal sendiri, jadinya petani dalam negri kurang terlindungi. Akhirnya petani kedelai dalam negri pada ambruk, dan beralih ke taneman yang lain.

    Saat import kedelai terganggu gini, pastilah ketahanan makanan negara kita ikutan ambruk.

  2. @ Ogi..ada yang gak fair dalam sistem perdagangan besar. Terlebih di sektor pertanian karena justru negara2 besar itu sangat memproteksi komoditas pertanian. Kita?? Hmmm tanya Kenapa???

    @Ridho…ah di Jogja semuanya masi murah Dho. Makanya aku pengen bgt tinggal di sana

    @ Bebex…hidup tempe mendoan. Uenakk..aku juga suka:D

    @ Sasti. kayaknya tempe penyet masi jadi andalan deh Sas. Soalnya emang relatif masi murah dibandignkan yg lain. Besok kalo k Jogja kubuktikan. Ayo pulang Sas:)

  3. tempe penyet harganya naek g yah?
    he he…andalan anak kos jogja jaman dl tuh katanya…

    bukan cuman jaman dulu tapi juga sampai jaman sekarang masih tetap menjadi andalan, he he he
    murah meriah

  4. Ada benernya lho. Kesepakatan utang dengan IMF salah satunya mensyaratkan penghapusan monopoli impor dan pengendalian harga komoditas pertanian kecuali beras, gula pasir, dan cengkeh. Swasta bebas mengimpor. Lha mana bisa petani kecil dalam negeri bersaing dengan pedagang global, kalo enggak diproteksi?

  5. @ Mya…aku juga blom nemu tuh. Biasanya aku suka bikin sendiri. Gampang sih:).
    Komoditas kayak beras, gula dan cengkeh yang masih diproteksi aja masi bikin rakyat dan petani susah, apalagi kedelai yang gak diproteksi ya?? Bisa-bisa berakhir kayak penutupan bank-bank kayak yang disyaratkan IMF:D. Katanya negara agraris, tapi kok petani gak makmur2 hidupnya.
    Kalo dibandingkan ama Jepang dan Thailand, kondisi petani kita jauh dari sukses. Petani Jepang itu merupakan basis utama suara partai LDP yang notabene mendominasi politik Jepang. Trus petani Thailand justru menjadi motor pembangkit dari keterpurukan ekonomi setelah krisis ekonomi tahun 1997. Semua karena sektor pertanian itu bener2 didukung sama pemerintah. Gak kayak kita, harga gabah rendah, pupuk bersubsidi malah diekspor:(. Sedihnya!!!

  6. Ting !! saya mau beli tanah ah..trus bikin ladang kedelai, mau jadi juragan kedelai aja !! secara harga kedelai masih tinggi dan kayaknya nunggu tindakan pemerintah masih belom ada hasilnya..hihihihi..

    @sasti
    tempe penyet masih jadi makanan nya “mahasiswa” hihihi..tapi di jogja susah nyari yang “penyet”, karena cuma tempe di goreng gitu aja, lalu di kasi sambel ( yang jual malas ngulek, hahaha..secara tempe penyet kan diulek sama sambalnya..)

  7. aduh .. i get hungry because read this one.. and i want eat tempe too but here in dubai walah.. so expensive and there in Indonesia i can eat anytime sampai warek bo !!!
    if you get tempe please send to me too yach…

  8. Ayo kita rame-rame nanam kedelai. Gak perlu beli sawah. Mulai Juli nanti banyak petani istirahat nanam padi, jadi banyak sawah nganggur. Kalau anda-anda concerned dengan kondisi gizi wong cilik, bisa join saya tanam kedelai. Gak punya modal juga gak ape-ape. Cukup meluangkan weekends di kampung saya di Cariu, Kab. Bogor. Benih, pupuk, cangkul dsb saya sediakan. Anda bisa berolahraga sambil beramal dan cari untung dikit-dikit. Nginap juga gratis. Kalo gubuk saya gak cukup, bisa pasang hammock di pohon rambutan. Tapi konsumsi bawa sendiri. Email saya: fathony@cbn.net.id

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