Growing demand for Indiana soybeans in Indonesia
The Indiana Soybean Alliance is working with buyers in Indonesia to direct-export Indiana-grown soybeans by container. The 10-person delegation, led by ISA, has been meeting with potential soybean buyers in the country.
Ed Ebert, senior director of market development with ISA, says there is a significant opportunity for farmers in the state to export US Number 1 soybeans specifically to support the country’s tempeh and tofu business. “Between 2.4 and 2.5 million metric tons per year, which is pretty significant,” he says. “If you bring that back to Indiana terms, that’s about 1/4 of our state’s production every year.”
Every dollar invested in export market development programs returns $24 in export revenue.
He tells Brownfield the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program is crucial to market development. “More money to get over here and tell the story about the quality, sustainability, and reliability of supply that the US provides,” he says. “I think it is going to be helpful for all US farmers, along with Indiana farmers.”
Indiana farmer Jim Douglas says the group met with Foreign Ag Service officials on the trip. “Diplomacy is hard to understand,” he says. “It varies from country to country, and so we got to hear what challenges they face. One of the main messages is for us to go back home and talk to our congressmen.”
He says there are roadblocks to advancing trade everywhere. “Even though it falls outside of normal trade negotiations, there are things put in place that impede how efficient things get into the market,” he says. “There can be prices put in through Congress to help speed that along.”
The Regional Agricultural Promotion Program offered through the USDA is providing $2.3 billion to help American producers maintain and develop markets for their commodities. USDA allocated $1.3 billion to RAPP to support specialty crop industries to diversify export markets.
Eligible commodities include high oleic soybeans, non-genetically modified, food-grade soybeans, specialty corn, and co-products like distillers’ dry grain, ethanol, hardwoods, meats and poultry, eggs, turkey, duck, and pork.
Photo courtesy of Indiana Soybean Alliance
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Author: Meghan Grebner