Indonesian state-owned plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) and Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM) have started soyabean and sugarcane intercropping trials in East Java, The Jakarta Post reported.

PTPN III production-and-development director Mahmudi said that trials were being conducted on a 30ha planting area in East Java with UGM and also at a 20ha planting area in Lampung with the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB).

“We’re looking for the maximum productivity with minimum cost,” Mahmudi was quoted as saying in the 31 July report.

Intercropping, which is known locally known as tumpang sari, is the practice of growing two or more crops in proximity to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land.

The trial uses the UGM-recommended soyabean-variety Dena 1, with 78 days of harvest, stronger pods and the potential to yield 2.89 tonnes/ha, according to the report.

Indonesia consumes a total of 2.98M tonnes/year of soyabean, but domestic yields only supply around 200,000 tonnes/year.

“National soyabean production can only provide a month’s worth of the people’s needs. The rest we have to import,” Mahmudi added.

East Java is a major producer of soyabean and sugarcane, according to the report.