Implementation of One Day Symposium : Sustainable Agriculture for Future Generations
APPERTANI has completely organized One-Day Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture for Future Generations on August 8, 2023, at Sadikin Sumintawikarta Conference Building, Bogor, Indonesia per Service Agreement Activity # 34324 U.S. Coarse Grain, and Corn Co-Product Promotion. The symposium served an important platform to address the challenges and opportunities of sustainable agriculture, offering practical insights and recommendations for a more resilient and productive agricultural future in Indonesia. Symposium attendance in person were 107 participants; included officers of MoA, researchers, students from agricultural universities, and representatives from provincial and district agricultural services. Attendance online were 1,251 participants from various agricultural institutions in Indonesia.
Prof. Irsal Las, chairman of APPERTANI officially opened the symposium, followed by the presentation of seventh invited speakers divided into two sessions. Prof. Hasil Sembiring acted as moderator for presentations and discussions in both sessions. The morning session featured four topics, namely: 1) Sustainable Agriculture: Concept, Program and Implementation in Indonesia; Ir. Baginda Siagian,MSi, representing DG of Agricultural Infrastructure and Facilities, Ministry of Agriculture (MoA); 2) U.S. Large Scale Sustainable Corn Farming Practices: A Farmer’s Perspective; Jay Reiners, US Corn Farmer Nebraska; 3) Progress of Sustainable Rice Production in Asia; Trusti Widiastuti S.Hut, Executive Secretariat of Sustainable Rice Platform, and 4) Development on Sustainable Oil Palm Production in Indonesia, Dr. Prayudi Syamsuri, representing DG of Estate Crops, ISPO Committee, MoA. The afternoon session covered three topics, namely: 1) Critical Measurement on Sustainable Agriculture: How do we apply in Indonesian Farming?; Prof. Budi Tangendjaja, USGC/APPERTANI, Indonesia; 2) Agriculture Biotechnology for Sustainable Farming, Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Application, the Philippines; 3) The Role of Indonesian Agency for Agriculture Instrument Standardization in Standardizing the Implementation of Sustainable Agriculture in Indonesia; Dr. Husnain, representing DG of Agency for Agriculture Instrument Standardization, MoA. Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Dr. Syahrul Yasin Limpo was pleased to deliver a keynote speech in the afternoon session. The symposium was officially closed by Prof. Syamsul Bahri, secretaries of APPERTANI after reading the conclusion by Prof. Sofyan Iskandar, vice chairman of APPERTANI.
From this one-day symposium it was understood that agriculture sustainability is indeed a serious issue in Indonesia, where the tropical monsoon rainfalls have triggered soil erosion, flood, and landslides. High population density further worsened the degradation of the dry land through encroached farming on slope and steep high lands. The three factors, namely high population density, high rainfall, and steep land farming, have been causing land degradations, leading to the non-sustainability on most hilly dry lands.
On the irrigated wetlands, despite more sustainable than that of dry lands, high percentages of soil degradation are observed, mainly due to imbalance soil nutrients, low organic matter in the soil and alarming shallowness of plough pan layer. In some coastal plain areas, high salinity of the soil, due to the sea water intrusion has occurred. The soil degradation in irrigated wetlands should be more easily corrected, and thus, not a major concern for agriculture sustainability.
To reach full understanding of sustainable agriculture, the Government of Indonesia should set up the midterm awareness program for all agriculture community at the central government, provinces, and districts, followed by its operational actions of the of agriculture sustainable program, include foreign collaboration.