TIME.CO, Jakarta – National Agency for Research and Innovation (BRIN) develop rice varieties that can adapt to various extreme climatic conditions to support food security in Indonesia.
The head of BRIN’s National Food Crop Research Center Yudhistira Nugraha said the new varieties have not yet been brought to market, but potential varieties are being tested.
“It is currently in its seventh and eighth generation, so hopefully in the next couple of years it can be released in a new variety,” he said when contacted in Jakarta on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023.
The Ministry of Agriculture (now some farmers have joined BRIN) has actually released and supplied drought tolerant rice varieties, including Inpari 38 Rainfed, Inpari 39 Rainfed, Cakrabuana, Padjdajar and Inpari 42.
According to him, the advantages of the rice varieties currently being tested are not only drought resistance, but also multi-tolerance to other environmental stresses, such as flooding and salinity.
BRIN is still confirming the drought tolerance of the seeding stage. In addition to the rice paddies, the researchers also tested the seed stage under controlled conditions in the greenhouse.
“We combine genes with molecular selection not only for drought resistance but also for salinity and flood resistance. Research is currently underway to test the generative stage,” he said.
BRIN has just tested this variety of rice adaptable to extreme climates in the lowland rice fields around West Java. The test field was chosen because it represents the general soil conditions in rice-producing centers in Java.
Yudhistira revealed that there are serious challenges related to food supply in the future because the area of land that can be cultivated is shrinking.
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The Indonesian agricultural system must be managed in a modern way
According to him, the agricultural system in Indonesia needs to be managed in a modern way through the supply of quality seeds or varieties, and Indonesian farmers can apply more precise, efficient and environmentally friendly cultivation technologies.
“Food diversification must also be encouraged on the production side through the rotation of other food products other than rice (sorghum, maize, other grains and beans),” he said.
From a social perspective, he said, social engineering is needed for Indonesians to reduce rice consumption and shift to food diversification based on local resources.
“To maintain the national food supply and implement the system agriculture sustainable,” he explained.
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