Indonesian Tempe and Dilemma

Indonesian Tempeh and Dilemma

Indonesia as a country with high diversity has a variety of unique works. Historically, many genuine products from Indonesia are not found in other countries. The resulting product is of course the result of the work, dedication, and challenging work of the stakeholders involved in it. This can be a marker of identity and the existence of a region or nation. Even in various locations, these products can be the pride of a region or nation. Culturally, Indonesian people consume tempeh as a daily food menu, and they loved it. In one week, Indonesian people can consume 0.139 kg in a week based on Statistics Indonesia.

The variety of creations created and preserved from generation to generation will certainly be increasingly popular along with the interest of citizens in using the work, and it is common for other countries to be interested in using it. From the various works of the nation’s children, one of the innovations originating from Indonesia and already well-known in several countries in the world is tempe / tempeh.

Indonesian Tempe and Dilemma- Tempe of Indonesia

Tempe is a typical Indonesian food made from fermented soybean seeds or some other ingredients using the help of a type of fungus. The types of mushrooms commonly used in making tempeh come from the phylum Zygomycota, namely Rhizopus oligosporus and Rhizopus stolonifera species. However, several types are used, the species Rhizopus oligosporus is the most widely used by the perpetrators/craftsmen of tempeh.

Along with the increasing popularity of Indonesian tempeh in the international world, this soybean-based food is planned to be registered as a world cultural heritage (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) to the UN UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2021. avoiding claims from other countries related to cultural wealth from Indonesia or in other words avoiding the theft of Indonesian cultural treasures by other countries. Given the history, the indifference/negligence of the Government and the Indonesian people in caring for / maintaining the work of the nation’s children will be an opportunity for other countries to make legal claims.

Since batik, keris, angklung, and several other products have been inaugurated by UNESCO as one of the cultural heritage of Indonesia, awareness of the importance of registering cultural works to international organizations such as UNESCO has increased. This is of course an effort to appreciate the work and demanding work of the ancestors who have created it and as the next generation is obliged to care for and maintain its existence. Hopefully, the government’s determination will be realized in its efforts at UNESCO to avoid claims from other countries that can harm Indonesia.

Dilemmas and Threats of the Indonesian Tempe Industry

Amid the development of the national tempe industry, Indonesia faces various problems including the lack of domestic soybean production in meeting the demands of the domestic tempe processing industry. Historically, it was noted that soybean imports continued to occur from time to time and tended to increase.

Indonesian Tempe and Dilemma- Total Soybean Import

Based on data from the FAO Statistical Database (FAOSTAT), data on soybean imports in 2009 was 1.3 million tons and experienced an increasing trend from time to time. Until 2019, soybean imports reached 2.6 million tons. There was an increase of two times along with the progress of the domestic tempe industry.

Indonesian Tempe and Dilemma - Importers of Soybean to Indonesia

In terms of countries, there are several countries that supply Indonesia’s domestic soybeans, of course, the United States with a total import of soybeans reaching 2.2 million tons, followed by Canada at two hundred thousand tons and Malaysia at six thousand tons. In addition, data from the Ministry of Agriculture states that around 86.4% of domestic soybean needs come from imports. This can be vulnerable with the international price of soybean. The cost of production depends on the international market of soybean.

Bibliography of Indonesian Tempeh and Dilemma

Statistics Indonesia. 2021. Imports of Soybean by Major Countries of Origin, 2010-2020 Accessed via  on November 10th, 2021. 

FAOSTAT. 2021. Top 10 Commodities, Import quantity in Indonesia. Accessed via  on November 11th, 2021

Y, Yudono. 2018. Tempe Akan Didaftarkan sebagai Warisan Budaya Dunia ke Unesco.Diakses melalui

S, Indra. 2018. FTI Punyai Dokumen Bukti Tempe Warisan Budaya. Diakses melalui

Yudhistira, A.W. 2021. Ironi Impor Kedelai Bangsa Tempe. Accessed via  on November 10th, 2021

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