Indonesia is preparing for alternatives to replace wheat whose supply chain has been disrupted by conflicts in Ukraine, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.
Ismail Wahab, cereal director at the directorate general of food crops of the ministry, said the main alternative is sorghum, which has the same nutrition and is still in the same family as wheat, and can be cultivated on land in Indonesia.
“Sorghum is a great alternative, also gluten-free so it is healthier,” Wahab said.
The government is intensifying the planting of sorghum in West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara on an area of 14,481 hectares with a production of 52,500 tons per year, a number that will increase as the land area expands to 55,000 hectares next year.
Other alternatives are cassava and sago which are widely grown on agricultural land in Indonesia.
Indonesia imported more than 11 million tons of wheat in 2021, said Statistics Indonesia.
Indonesia’s main wheat supplying country is Australia, while other countries are Ukraine, Canada, Argentina and the United States.