Ministry encourages upstream and downstream development of sorghum


Sorghum is grown in Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, South East Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Ministry of Agriculture is stepping up the development of sorghum from upstream to downstream to strengthen alternative food products to face the challenges of the global food crisis.

Director General of Food Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture, Suwandi, said in an official statement on Friday that sorghum not only replaces rice but is also useful as a food ingredient and capable of producing bioethanol.

He pointed out that sorghum is an easy-to-grow plant with low production costs and immensely beneficial to health. Sorghum also has the same benefits as rice, corn, and soy.

“Sorghum is grown in Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara. Almost all parts of the plant of sorghum, such as seeds, seed stalks, leaves, stems and roots, can be used as an industrial raw material.It can be used to make syrup, sugar, handicrafts, starch, biomass, bioethanol and as a flour substitute for wheat and the like,” he said.

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Suwandi also pointed out that unlike wheat, sorghum does not contain gluten. Sorghum is rich in niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, as well as iron and manganese.

The representative of the Larantuka Socio-Economic Development Foundation (Yaspensel), Elisabeth Hera Mukin, indicated that the development potential of sorghum in the NTT is quite significant.

His foundation has helped groups of farmers spread across Flores, Adonara and Lembata to implement the correct post-harvest cultivation of sorghum. Additionally, farmers were able to sort qualified seeds to use for the next planting season.

“We train housewives and teenagers to make processed sorghum without losing its nutritional value. For example, cakes, noodles, dumplings, biscuits and sorghum porridge. We also provide training to make handicrafts from sorghum panicles, such as flowerpots, bouquets and picture frames. The leaves and stems can also be used for animal feed,” she added.

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Meanwhile, Athaya Sorghum owner Natha Fadhlin said her company is a micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) entity engaged in the culinary field of sorghum in Jakarta.

Athaya Sorghum focuses on processing the sorghum variety named Bioguma. The variety has the potential to produce seven tonnes of sorghum rice and flour sorghum per hectare.

“Sorghum rice can be made into an alternative food source to replace rice. Sorghum rice has a delicious, fluffier, rice-like taste. It can also be served with various side dishes,” she remarked.

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