Toward a sustainable agriculture
UNIDA Gontor – Since the wake of “Green Revolution” around the 1980s, Indonesia under Soeharto’s administration made an effort to maintain Indonesian agriculture by planting superior varieties, subsidising fertilizers and pesticides as well as managing irrigation. As a result, Indonesia was awarded by FAO (Food Agriculture Organization) as a Food Sovereign State.
However, the title did not last long. A few years later, there were brown plant hooper attacks which resulted in crop failure throughout Indonesia. It became the nation’s downturn at the time. The brown plant hopper attack was due to plant hopper resistance as a result of an excessive application of pesticides.
The application of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is a biological control that utilises living things around the parent plant. IPM in Indonesia was regulated in INPRES 3/1986; 7, regarding the prohibition on the use of insecticides on rice plants.
According to Ir. Hari Purnomo, M.Sc. P.h D., DIC, of all the insects and arthropods in the world, 98% is beneficial and only 2% is categorised as pests. Ir. Hari who served as a lecturer and Head of Agro-technology Department at Jember University said that the key to IPM is to utilise natural enemies (predators) and fungi as the shelter of these predators.
“I once lived in Korea for 4 months. There, grasshoppers and scallops are fried and then eaten. Actually, they belong to one family seen from the classification of living things. It means that humans can also control pests,” Ir. Hari’s statement which was followed by laughters from the participants of the public lecture attended by officers from agriculture authorities, Head of the Ponorogo farmer group, and UNIDA Gontor students from Agro-technology Department on Tuesday (9/10) at Shiroh Hall.
Ir. Hari expressed his concerns on the use of pesticides which exceed to the limit. He explained that even though pesticides only survived instantaneously, it had negative effects such as causing damage to environmental ecosystems, threatening biodiversity, and increasing high production costs for farmers.
In the discussion session which was conducted at the end of the public lecturing entitled “The Application of IPM Towards Sustainable Agriculture“, a participant from Ponorogo farmers group showed interest in Ir. Hari’s presentation. They are committed to implementing IPM and asking for guidance from UNIDA and Ir. Hari.
The agriculture world contributes to the greatest damage to our nature. Don’t let our farmers’ behavior contribute to the damage of the nature’s balance. [Iqbal / Trans. Eka / Ed. Nurrahma]