17 Oct 2020
Sorghum has a higher protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin B1 content than rice. However, why hasn’t this food source got a place on the dining table of Indonesians?
Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture continues to innovate to explore local food potentials for food diversification. The program is expected to reduce people’s dependence on rice, which has become the main staple food.
One that is being developed is sorghum. The Head of the Center for Food Crops Research and Development (Puslitbangtan), Haris Syahbuddin, said that sorghum is very feasible to be developed into a food substitute for rice because sorghum has added value as a food ingredient. Sorghum contains minerals, especially iron, which is adequate, namely 4-5.5 mg / 100g, the minerals contained can overcome stunting (inhibited growth & development) in children of growing age.
Not only for treating stunting, sorghum also contains various other important health benefits. Among them:
Good for heart health
Control blood sugar levels
Protect the body from anemia
As an antioxidant
Improve cognitive power
With its very special benefits, unfortunately, sorghum in Indonesia is not that popular. The prestige of sorghum is inferior to other staple foods such as rice, corn and cassava.
According to lecturers and experts in Biotechnology and Physiology from IPB (Bogor Agricultural Institute), Dr. Supriyanto, DEA, in one of the CNN Indonesia articles, there are two reasons this plant has not yet got a place on the dining table of Indonesians. These two things are technology and market limitations. According to him, sorghum needs to be introduced into various forms of derivative products such as cakes, fried rice, porridge, sorghum flakes, and cereals.
Seeing that the potential for developing sorghum in Indonesia is still very large, this commodity is very promising in an effort to accelerate food diversification for the people of Indonesia. The KEHATI Foundation together with the sorghum women’s farmer groups, have developed sorghum in several districts on the island of Flores with three hubs, namely Likotuden in the east, Ende in the central region, and Lembor in the west. For more information about the KEHATI program for sorghum, download the sorghum factsheet here.