Porang is a tuber plant and belongs to the species Amorphophallus Muelleri Blume. Porang cultivation is carried out by Indonesian farmers. Currently, Porang is an agricultural commodity that has the potential to be widely developed. These commodities have various benefits, namely as raw materials for cosmetics, glue, and jelly.
Based on the information from fimela.com, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, said that he also saw the economic potential of these commodities. This is because Porang has a low calorie content and low in sugar. So, besides being able to be used as raw material for cosmetics, glue, and jelly, Porang also has a low sugar content and is considered to be a substitute for rice in the future.
Porang can be used as low-calorie food and is easily processed into food to meet daily needs. In addition, Porang tubers contain glucomannan which is good for health. So that makes the commodity has a high economic value.
HISTORY OF PORANG AND ITS TRADE IN INDONESIA
Initially, Porang was not popular enough in Indonesia. However, in recent years, Japan and China, as consumers of Porang, have started to have difficulty in stocking due to natural factors and increasing population. Entering 2014, they went to Indonesia to look for porang. Because indeed the source or center of the world’s Porang is in Indonesia.
Porang had been sent to those countries since 1962 by PT Ambico Pasuruan and PT Sanindo Bandung, but due to the growing demand in those countries, the two companies were unable to cover their needs. So, representatives of the countries’ government came directly to conduct cooperation or MOU on the purchase and planting of Porang in Indonesia with Perhutani Madiun.
Since then, Porang has grown more rapidly and the area of Porang land, especially in East Java (Madiun, Nganjuk, Ngawi, Bojonegoro) has expanded. In addition, in 2021, the FAO World Food Agency declared the world was in a food emergency, and Indonesia felt the need to strengthen food security, one of which was with Porang as a substitute commodity which turned out to be 5 times better than rice.
Based on its potential, the world’s need for Porang is very large and only 5-10% fulfilled. In addition, the potential of hundreds of millions of Indonesians who at a certain point will change their diet from rice to eating Porang rice.
Indeed, for now only high-end consumers are consuming it, such as artists, officials and rich people because the price is still very high, which is around IDR 160,000 per Kg. But the government is optimistic that in 5-10 years ordinary citizens will eat Porang rice which is very good for health.
THE TRADE OF PORANG IN EXPORT MARKET
Exports of agricultural products have become one of the biggest supporters of the Indonesian economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. This increase was influenced by consumer demand that emerged along with the increasing lifestyle of the world community to maintain health and endurance.
Therefore, Porang is widely ogled by other countries. Even during the pandemic, Porang is still in demand by export destination countries. Until now, a lot of demand for these commodities has come from China, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Japan, and several other countries. Meanwhile, Porang is exported in the form of chips and Porang flour.
The Agricultural Quarantine Agency (Barantan) of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture provides support in efforts to increase agricultural exports according to the Triple Exports Movement (Gratieks) program. One of them is for the Porang commodity.
Based on its development, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture stated that the export value of porang in 2020 reached IDR 923.6 billion and made the commodity designated as a crown that was included in the program of the triple export movement (Gratieks). Meanwhile, in the first semester of 2021, Indonesia’s Porang commodity exports have reached 14.8 thousand tons or around IDR 2.368 trillion.
THE CONDITION OF PORANG INDUSTRY
On the plantation side, the national Porang plantation area in 2020 reached around 19,950 hectares and in 2021 it will reach around 47,461 hectares spread across 15 provinces and is targeted for a maximum of 100,000 hectares in 2024.
As a form of government support, there is the distribution of KUR assistance to Porang farmers in their respective regions. With the help of the KUR, it is hoped that it will further encourage Porang farmers to expand the planting area for these commodities.
One example of the distribution carried out is the distribution of KUR to Porang farmers in Madiun with a total amount of IDR 86 billion. Consisting of KUR from Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) of IDR 36.2 billion for 1,104 farmers and KUR from Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) of IDR 49.8 billion for 1,436 farmers.
In terms of industry, several centers for processing Porang flour are located in Pasuruan, Madiun, Wonogiri, Bandung, Mojokerto, and Maros. At that location, there are several manufacturers as suppliers of Porang products for national and export needs, two of which are PT Asia Prima Konjac in Madiun Regency, East Java which has succeeded in producing Porang rice which is a candidate for mainstay export commodity and PT. Prima Agung Sejahtera in the city of Mojokerto, East Java as a producer of Porang flour and konjac.