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SWEET POTATO AS AN ALTERNATIVE FOOD SUPPLEMENT DURING RICE SHORTAGE

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Sweet potato is the most productive carbohydrate producing crop, but it requires less inputs and water compared to rice, corn or potato. Its wide adaptation to various agroecologies render the crop as human live saver during the food shortage. Therefore, campaign need to be launched to popularize this crop as an integral part in the daily menu, in the forms of fresh cooked or processed products. Utilization of sweet potato flour for making noodles, cakes, cookies, dougnuts, etc could increase the acceptance and demand for sweet potato. If total consumption of sweet potato is increased by 60 kg/capita/year, it will reduce the demand for rice, and thus lessen the burden for importing rice. Sweet potato varieties with specific tuber characteristics for various usages are available.
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by namdi on June 11th, 2010 at 11:13 am
what is the effect of wheat sweet potato flour on biscuit production
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SWEET POTATO AS AN ALTERNATIVE
FOOD SUPPLEMENT DURING
RICE SHORTAGE
Nani Zuraida
Indonesian Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research Institute,
Jalan Tentara Pelajar No. 3A, Bogor 16111
ABSTRACT
Sweet potato is the most productive carbohydrate producing crop, but it requires less inputs and water compared to
rice, corn or potato. Its wide adaptation to various agroecologies render the crop as human live saver during the
food shortage. Therefore, campaign need to be launched to popularize this crop as an integral part in the daily
menu, in the forms of fresh cooked or processed products. Utilization of sweet potato flour for making noodles,
cakes, cookies, dougnuts, etc could increase the acceptance and demand for sweet potato. If total consumption of
sweet potato is increased by 60 kg/capita/year, it will reduce the demand for rice, and thus lessen the burden for
importing rice. Sweet potato varieties with specific tuber characteristics for various usages are available.
Keywords: Sweet potatoes, foods, supplements, food consumption
ABSTRAK
Ubi jalar sebagai suplemen pangan selama masa paceklik
Ubi jalar merupakan tanaman penghasil karbohidrat yang paling produktif dan untuk memproduksinya diperlukan
masukan yang rendah dan sedikit pengairan dibanding padi, jagung atau kentang. Daya adaptasinya sangat luas
sehingga ubi jalar dapat berfungsi sebagai sumber pangan alternatif yang murah pada masa paceklik. Oleh karena
itu, perlu ada kampanye makan ubi jalar sebagai bagian integral dari menu makanan sehari-hari, baik dalam bentuk
masakan segar atau hasil olahan. Penggunaan tepung ubi jalar untuk pembuatan mi, kue basah, kue kering, donat,
dan sebagainya akan dapat meningkatkan penerimaan dan permintaan masyarakat terhadap ubi jalar. Apabila
konsumsi per kapita dapat ditingkatkan menjadi 60 kg/tahun, permintaan terhadap beras akan menurun, sehingga
dapat mengurangi impor beras. Varietas ubi jalar dengan sifat spesifik sesuai bagi masing-masing penggunaan telah
tersedia.
Kata kunci: Ubi jalar, pangan, suplemen, konsumsi pangan
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is considered as having low economic this crop in strategic position during food
is an important alternative source
value, but it has significant social
shortage period.
of carbohydrate, taking the fourth
importance. It is most versetile for snack
place after rice, corn, and cassava. As a
food, but in Papua, it is used as staple food
secondary food source, this crop
or as a rice substitute.
constitutes of energy, beta carotene,
Generally, the tubers are consumed
PRODUCTION AND DISTRI-
vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and
in fresh form, cooked by frying or boiling
BUTION OF SWEET POTATO
minerals. Certain varieties are richer
and also processed into various traditional
source of pro-vitamin A than rice and
snack foods. The tubers can also be used
The tuberous root of sweet potato can be
also a good source of phosphorus,
as a raw material for food and feed
harvested well from light texture soils, and
calcium, and potassium.
industry. For industrial purposes, a high
is considered as an inexpensive energy
Sweet potato is very productive
starch content and high starch yield
source in East and Southeast Asia (Tsou
crop, easy to grow and having less
variety is needed. Mixture of wheat flour
and Hong 1989). In Indonesia, although it
problems in the field compared to other
and sweet potato flour could make a good
is considered as low value crop, sweet
food crops. It can produce high yield in
baking product, which should increase its
potato is an important food crop for the
short period of time and is adaptable to
economic value. Improved quality and
low income families after rice, maize, and
various agroclimates. Presently, this crop
productivity of sweet potato could place
cassava.
150
Jurnal Litbang Pertanian, 22(4), 2003

Production of sweet potato is
Kalimantan 5.30%. At the production
Pengembangan Tanaman Pangan 2001).
relatively stable of around 2 million tons
centers such as in Blitar and Magetan
These varieties aside from having high
of fresh tuber annually. These seem to be
(East Java), Karanganyar (Central Java),
yield are also tolerant to scab disease
no correlation between fluctuation of rice
and Kuningan (West Java), sweet potato
(Elsinoe batatas). One drawback for their
or corn production and that of sweet
yield can be as high as 40 t/ha of fresh
adoption is that the cooking quality is
potato. Its availability at the whole year
tuber.
poor, due to high moisture content for
round indicated that sweet potato
The average productivity of sweet
some varieties. Sweet potato varieties with
functions more as snack food rather
potato in Indonesia is still low, although
dry texture and moderate sweetness are
than as staple food. In 2001, sweet potato
at specific locations the productivity is
more preferred by consumers than those
production in Indonesia was 1.75 million
sufficiently high. By using disease free
with wet types. Nevertheless, high-
tons of fresh tuber (Badan Pusat Statistik
planting material of the recommended
yielding varieties could be grown for
2001). Java has the highest contribution
improved variety and proper rate of
industrial purposes, such as for pro-
at 0.70?1 million tons annually, or about
fertilizer application, the productivity of
cessing into ketchup sauce ingredient.
40% of the national production (Table 1).
sweet potato could attain an optimum
Farmers in the sweet potato pro-
Planted area of sweet potato was
yield (Table 2). Indonesian Center for
ducing area generally prefer to grow local
181,026 ? 200,000 ha with an average yield
Food Crops Research and Development
variety. In Bogor (West Java), the most
of 10 t/ha. Java has the biggest area of
had released twelve high-yielding
popular variety is SQ 27, which was
sweet potato growing (34.80%), Sumatra
varieties of potato, namely Daya,
formerly named as Southern Queen 27
18.80%, Maluku and Papua 18.70%, Bali,
Prambanan, Borobudur, Mendut, Kalasan,
introduced from Puerto Rico and released
West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa
Cangkuang, Sewu, Sari, Kidal, Sukuh,
for farmers in the 1950’s. Another varieties
Tenggara 12.70%, Sulawesi 9.70%, and
Jago, and Boko (Pusat Penelitian dan
planted in Bogor include Tariko, Tumpuk,
Jarak Merah, and Jaruju (Watson et al.
1992). In Kuningan, the most popular
varieties are Lampeneng, Citok, and Ceret
and in Karanganyar (Central Java) are
Table 1. Production, harvested area, and productivity of sweet potato by
Bestak Putih, Mangkokan (also called
region in Indonesia, 2001.
Bestak Mangkokan), and Sablah. Local
variety named Gropak is the most famous
Production
Harvested
Productivity Highest yield
Region
(t)
area (ha)
(t/ha)
reported
in Pacet, Mojokerto (East Java). Gropak
(t/ha)1
has a red skin and white flesh (Widodo
Sumatra
311,431
33,959
9.17
2 9
1994), and it is preferred for its eating
Java
686,940
63,032
10.90
4 3
qualities. Two famous varieties, namely
Bali, West and East Nusa
217,860
23,086
9.44
3 0
Genjah Rante and Samarinda, are widely
Tenggara
planted by farmers in Blitar. Genjah Rante
Kalimantan
77,083
9,609
8.02
2 5
has a red skin and yellow flesh tuber, and
Sulawesi
147,097
17,558
8.38
3 0
Maluku and Papua
308,659
33,782
9.14
2 5
it is preferred for its drought tolerance and
Indonesia
1,749,070
181,026
9.66
higher tuber yield. Samarinda has a red
1
skin and purplish flesh color and it has
Various report from Indonesian Center for Food Crops Research and Development..
Source: Badan Pusat Statistik (2001).
good cooking and eating quality. The
local variety named Kamplong Putih has
a good eating quality with a medium high
Table 2. Sweet potato varieties released by the Indonesian Center for Food
yielding potential (Basuki and Guritno
Crops Research and Development, 1978? 2001.
1990) and it is the most famous variety in
Magetan, East Java. The major charac-
teristics of those local sweet potato
Varieties
Year
Productivity
Tuber color
Taste/
released
(t/ha)
Skin
Flesh
texture
varieties are listed on Table 3.
In general, local varieties show
Daya
1978
2 8
Yellow
Yellow
Sweet/watery
Prambanan
1982
3 2
Yellow
Orange
Sweet/watery
specific adaptation, have good eating
Borobudur
1982
2 7
Light red
Orange
Sweet/watery
quality, and the planting material is
Mendut
1989
3 5
Light red
Light yellow
Moderate
available in the area. Traders and buyers
sweet/watery
expect to buy known sweet potato tubers
Kalasan
1990
3 8
Red
Yellow
Sweet/watery
from a certain location, which render
Cangkuang
1998
3 0
Dark red
Light yellow
Sweet
Sewu
1998
28.50
Yellow
Orange
Sweet
farmers reluctant to change the variety
brownish
they usually planted.
Sari
2001
30?35
Red
Dark yellow
Sweet
Kidal
2001
25?30
Red
Dark yellow
Sweet
Sukuh
2001
25?30
Yellow
White
Sweet/dry
Jago
2001
25?30
White
Light yellow
Sweet/dry
TRADITIONAL USAGES
Boko
2001
25?30
Red
Cream
Sweet
Source: Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Tanaman Pangan (2001).
Sweet potato has potential to produce
high yield in short period of time and is
Jurnal Litbang Pertanian, 22(4), 2003
151

depending on how it is cooked. Baking
Table 3. The characteristics of local varieties of sweet potato.
often increases sweetness, while boiling
may preserve an original taste and bring
out the color intensity. Frying enhances
Name of variety
Area of
Tuber color
distribution
Skin
Flesh
sweetness, especially for less watery
tubers. Farmers select certain varieties
SQ-27
Bogor
Cream
Cream
Tariko
Bogor
Purple red
Dark cream
based on consumer preference. Varieties
Tumpuk
Bogor
Brownish orange
Pale orange
with soft texture, sweet, yellow or orange
Jarak Merah
Bogor
White
Dark cream
color are preferred for boiling and
Jaruju
Bogor
Cream
White
steaming, while those with white or
Lampeneng
Kuningan
Red
Dark yellow
purplish flesh and harder texture are for
Citok
Kuningan
Red
Dark yellow
Ceret
Kuningan
Brownish orange
Dark cream
frying.
Bestak Mangkokan
Karang Anyar
Cream
Cream
Sweet potato in Indonesia is mostly
Sablah
Karang Anyar
White
Pale yellow
consumed in a simple form; fresh tubers
Gropak
Mojokerto
Red
White
are boiled, steamed, fried or baked. There
Genjah Rante
Blitar
Red
Yellow
are many kinds of main dishes and snacks
Samarinda
Blitar
Red
Purplish
that can be prepared from sweet potato,
Source: Widodo (1994); Balai Penelitian Bioteknologi dan Sumberdaya Genetik Pertanian
like getuk (meshed sweet potato), baked,
(2002).
timus, kolak, and kremes. The baking
quality of sweet potatoes is a complex
character, comprise of sweetness, moist-
ness, flavor, texture, color, and fiber
content. Judgments of baking quality can
very versetile in its usages. It is the most
Varieties with red to yellow flesh have high
also be influenced by personal, local, or
efficient carbohydrate producing crop,
content of pro-vitamin A and iron, and a
regional preferences and eating habits.
higher than that of rice, corn, and cassava.
good source of phosphorus, calcium, and
Many other factors such as handling,
Its nutritional value is high, particularly
potassium (Table 5).
curing, air temperature, relative humidity,
vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium (Table
Among varieties there are different
and length of storage can affect the quality
4). Flesh color is an important quality
flavors, textures, color, and usages,
of baked sweet potatoes (Sparer 1980).
factor, where variety with deep orange
The low moisture types of sweet potato
flesh indicated high carotenoid content.
usually remain rather firm and dry after
Good eating quality is an important
Table 5. Comparison of vitamins and
baking because of a lack of enzymatic
consideration for selecting variety for
minerals in sweet potato and
starch conversion during cuting, storage,
planting, and the most preferred tuber is
rice (boiled).
and baking. The high moisture content
characterized by very to moderate
types have high starch conversion rates
sweetness, very to moderate dryness,
Component
Sweet potato
Rice
and become moist and syrupy after
(mg/100 g)
(mg/100 g)
yellow to yellow-white color, and good
baking. Industrial usages of sweet potato
taste after steaming, baking or frying.
?-carotene1 0?>20
0
include bakeries, biscuits, doughnut,
Good storability is also very important
Ascorbic acid
1 7
0
bread, and cakes.
Thiamin
0.09
0.02
aspect to keep tuber freshness and eating
Riboflavin
0.06
0.01
quality (Tarumoto 1989). For table food,
Niacin
0.60
0.40
sweet potato has to have a good texture,
K2
243
2 8
PROCESSING FOR NEW
good appearance, delicious taste, good
P
4 7
2 8
Fe
0.7
0.20
FOOD PRODUCTS
storability, and less watery. Nutritionally
Ca
3 2
1 0
it is rich in energy, carotene, vitamin C,
niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and minerals.
A diverse range of sweet potato pro-
Source: 1Woolfe (1989); 2Horton et al. (1989).
cessing enterprises exist in East and
Southeast Asian (Table 6). Sweet potato
is also processed into starch, flour, frozen
intermediary products, and snack foods
Table 4. Nutritive value of sweet potato per 100 g compared to the food
for export to Japan, Taiwan, and Korea
source.
(Wheatley 1996).
Sweet potato can be prepared as a
Material
Energy Carbohydrate Protein
Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Ca
starchy staple, made into paste cakes,
(cal)
(g)
(g)
(%)
(SI)
(mg)
(mg)
noodles, or confectionaries. Sweet potato
Sweet potato
123
27.90
1.80
0.70
7,000
2 2
3 0
varieties for industrial purposes should
Rice
300
78.90
6.80
0.70
0
0
6
have a high starch content and generally
Cassava
146
34.70
1.20
0.30
0
3 0
3 3
white flesh varieties are preferred. Starch
Corn
361
72.40
8.70
4.50
350
0
9
content in sweet potato varies from 5.30
Source: Departemen Kesehatan (1981) In Harnowo et al. (1994).
to 28.40% (Bradbury and Holloway 1988).
The processing of fresh sweet potato into
152
Jurnal Litbang Pertanian, 22(4), 2003

is recommended for making baked cake
Table 6. Current sweet potato processing enterprises of all scales in East
(Antarlina 1994). The use of sweet potato
and Southeast Asia.
flour for supplementing wheat flour on the
baking could substantially decrease the
import of wheat flour, reduce the use of
Medium-large scale,
Medium scale, for
Small/household
Country
sugar, and increase the value of sweet
for export
national market
scale, for local and
national markets
potato.
Sweet potato is used primarily for
China (Shandong)
Starch and noodles
Starch, noodles,
Starch, noodles,
alcohol
animal feed
human food, but it is also for animal feed,
alcohol, starch, and various industrial
China (Jhejiang)
Maltose and candy
Maltose and candy
Starch, noodles,
animal feed
purposes. Material with easily digestable
without cooking is one of the desired
China (Sichuan)
Starch, noodles,
Starch, noodles,
alcohol, animal feed
animal feed
characteristics for feed purposes (Tsou
rations
and Hong 1989). Sweet potato flour
Vietnam
Starch
Starch, noodles,
could be used in textile, paper, and glue
animal feed
industries (Antarlina 1994).
Indonesia
Flour, snack foods,
Sauces, snack foods
Traditional food,
The use of sweet potato for an
steamed, fried, frozen
sauces
industrial purpose is increasing in
Philippines
Steamed, frozen,
Sauces, candy
Indonesia. Many food products such as
starch
tomato sauce, ketchup, dried-cake,
Thailand
Starch
spongy cake, and biscuit utilize sweet
potato as part of the ingredient. Tomato
Source: Wheatley (1996).
ketchup is one of food products which
uses heavily sweet potato as its
component. The survey showed that 60%
of the raw material used in tomato ketchup
is of sweet potato (Damardjati et al. 1989
flour can improve storage and increase its
(Table 7), but the fat content was only
in Suismono et al. 1994). The substitution
utilization, as a raw material for various
0.50%, much lower than that of wheat flour
of cassava flour up to 20% to sweet potato
food industries, including cake and
(1.29%). The ash content of sweet potato
as ingredient of ketchup resulted in 20%
cookies (Antarlina 1994). The flow chart
flour (2.13%) was higher than that of wheat
of total solid content, with a pH of 4.50
of sweet potato flour production is shown
flour (0.54%), and carbohydrate content
which matches the standard requirement
in Figure 1.
was similar with that of wheat flour, i.e.
for ketchup quality and increases the
Protein content of sweet potato flour
85.26% and 85.04%, respectively. The fiber
ketchup recovery (Suismono et al. 1994).
was much lower than that of wheat flour
content of sweet potato flour was 1.95%
Ketchup taste made of white flesh sweet
higher than that of wheat flour (0.62%),
potato is preferred by consumers,
however the energy value was lower.
eventhough it was substituted with
Higher fiber content of sweet potato flour
cassava flour by 30% as compare to that
was possibly the reason for a less white
of red (20%) and of yellow (10%) sweet
Sweet potato
color of the flour. Cookies and layer cake
potato flesh.
can be made out of 100% sweet potato
Washed
flour. A preparation consisting of 50%
Shredded
sweet potato flour plus 50% wheat flour
Soaked in natrium bisulfit
0.20% solution,
POTENTIAL OF SWEET
5 minutes
POTATO AS SUPPLEMEN-
Drained
Dried
TARY TO STAPLE FOOD
Table 7. Nutrient content of sweet
?
potato compared to that of
World sweet potato cultivation area is
Dried shredded sweet potato
wheat flour.
7.70 million ha of which, 93% is found in
(moisture content 10?12%)
the Asian countries (Tarumoto 1989). The
Component
Sweet potato
Wheat
utilization of sweet potato in Asian
flour1
flour
Milled and sieved
countries is shown in Table 8. Its primary
Moisture (%)
7
7
use is as human food, and the second is
?
Protein (%)
5.12
13.13
as an animal feed. The use of sweet potato
Fat (%)
0.50
1.29
Sweet potato flour
as raw material for industrial uses occupies
Ash (%)
2.13
0.54
the second position in Japan and Korea
Carbohydrate (%)
85.26
85.04
Fiber (%)
1.95
0.62
(Asian Vegetable Research and Develop-
Figure 1.
The flowchart of sweet
Energy (cal/100 g)
366.89
375.79
ment Center 1993). In Indonesia, around
potato flour production
1
80% of the sweet potato production is
(Indrasari et al. 1994).
Extracted from variety “Lapis 30”.
Source: Antarlina (1994).
used as food and about 10% as feed.
Jurnal Litbang Pertanian, 22(4), 2003
153

Table 10.
Average per capita supply
Table 8. Utilization of tuber and leaf of sweet potato in Asia.
of sweet potato in Indo-
nesia, 1990-1995.

Tuber utilization (%)
Country
Vegetable
Province
Average per capita
Food
Feed
Industrial
supply (kg/year)
Japan
3 8
1 8
3 5
Few (leaf petiole)
Nangroe Aceh Darussalam
9
Korea
5 6
5
3 6
Yes (leaf petiole)
North Sumatra
1 3
Taiwan
1 1
7 3
1 6
Few (leaf)
West Sumatra
8
Philippines
8 0
1 0
1 0
Yes (shoot)
Riau
5
Thailand
8 0
1 5
5
Yes (shoot)
Jambi
1 1
Bangladesh
100
?
?
Yes (shoot)
South Sumatra
6
India
9 0
1 0
?
Few (shoot)
Bengkulu
5 6
Indonesia
8 0
1 0
1 0
Yes (leaf & shoot)
Lampung
7
Malaysia
7 0
3 0
?
Few (shoot)
DKI Jakarta
5
Sri Lanka
100
?
?
No
West Java
1 2
Papua New Guinea
8 5
1 5
?
Few
Central Java
8
Source: Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (1993).
Yogyakarta
3
East Java
7
Bali
3 4
West Nusa Tenggara
1 4
East Nusa Tenggara
2 7
East Timor
1 7
West Kalimantan
5
Central Kalimantan
7
The young tender of sweet potato
in more temperate climates such as in the
South Kalimantan
6
leaf can be used for leavy vegetable. The
USA and are used as a dessert.
East Kalimantan
1 2
young leaf of sweet potato contains
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), sweet
North Sulawesi
1 5
nutrients better than the tuber (Onwueme
potato is the major crop and used as staple
Central Sulawesi
1 8
1978; Table 9). Countries which use sweet
food. It is also the staple food in parts of
South Sulawesi
1 0
Southeast Sulawesi
1 3
potato leaf as vegetables are Philippines,
the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and
Maluku
2 9
Indonesia, China, Thailand, and Malaysia
Tonga (Bradbury and Holloway 1988). In
Papua
9 0
(Villareal et al. 1979 and Asian Vegetable
Indonesia, it is usually consumed either
Indonesia
1 6
Research and Development Center 1993).
as main staple food like in part of Papua
Source: Zuraida and Supriati (2001).
There are two major types of sweet
and Nusa Tenggara, or as rice substitute
potato with different end uses and
during the rice shortage. It is consumed
storage requirement. First, the white
for breakfast, as side dishes, snacks,
fleshed, less-sweet varieties that are used
desserts and salads (Dimyati and Manwan
as staple food in the South Pacific and
1992). In general, in Indonesia sweet
elsewhere (Bradbury and Holloway 1988).
potato is used to supplement the main
sweet potato as food is just as good or
These varieties are grown largely by
staple rice, and is eaten seasonally. Both
even better, as any other food sources.
subsistence farmers in tropical climate
rural and urban markets prefer sweet
regions. Second, the yellow fleshed,
potato in fresh form, suitable for its uses
sweeter varieties, grown as annual crops
and its preparation such as boiled, fried,
CONCLUSION
steamed, roasted or baked. In urban area,
various snacks and desserts made of
As a secondary food source, sweet potato
sweet potato are becoming common. A
produces high yield in short period of time
mixture of wheat flour and sweet potato
and is very versetile in its usages. It is the
Table 9. Nutrient and mineral content
flour is introduced for making cakes or
most efficient carbohydrate producing
of sweet potato leaf com-
biscuit.
crop which produces carbohydrate higher
pared to that of cassava (per
The rate of sweet potato consump-
than rice, corn, and cassava. It also has
100 g).
tion in Indonesia remains low, an average
high nutritional value, particularly vitamin
of less than 16 kg/capita/year, based on
A, vitamin C, and calcium.
Nutrient
Sweet potato Cassava
the per capita supply (Table 10). The
Sweet potato can be consumed either
leaf
leaf
majority of people feel a shame of buying
as main staple food or as rice substitute
Protein (mg)
3
7
sweet potato when they shop in the
when this cereal is not available. It is used
?-carotene (mg)
1–7
8–12
market. The Government should promote
primarily for human food, but is also used
Riboflavine (mg)
0.35
0.27
Ascorbic acid (mg)
5 5
300
sweet potato for alternative of staple
for animal feed, alcohol, or starchy staple,
(20–136)
food, replacing rice, bread or noodles. If
made into paste, cakes, noodles or
Ca (mg)
183
160
consumption rate of sweet potato can be
confectionaries and various industrial
Fe (mg)
3
2.40
increased to 60 kg/capita/year, it certainly
purposes. Sweet potato is considered as
Zn (mg
0.50
reduces the demand for rice, and ulti-
the future food crop which can be used to
Oxalate (mg)
0.37
0.52
matelly decreases the amount of rice to be
alleviate the food shortage and to
Source: Woolfe (1989).
imported. We need to educate people that
overcome hunger.
154
Jurnal Litbang Pertanian, 22(4), 2003

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155

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