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This article supposed to be dammit, hit harder than a car crash is. But I know there are some restrictions in campus to talk about politics, to disguise critics from political activities. I restricted this text just for innovations side and encouragement side. Yeah, through I know this may hit Jokowi hard in the end of 1st period of his presidency. Some people might use this hungriness issue for political intentions, so beware!
On 17 March 2017, our Agricultural Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman visited Universitas Muslim Makassar. This is not usual visit for food problem in our country. Amran encouraged campuses to share and integrate their knowledge in agricultural technology. There are too many troubles that caused most of our agricultural technology ended up with just a mess in a lab (and also waste of resources). One of his concern is “sectoral ego”, which makes the stakeholders don’t want to integrate and just focusing on their own business. This makes Indonesia’s race to the advanced cultivation seems like impossible.
Our nation is destined to be hungry, somewhere in the future. Yeah, it happens if our cultivation rate does not grow in line with our population. Population growth is growing enormously these days. We need more food. Paddy growing is just one of our challenges to keep our kitchen full of steam (raw translation of dapur ngebul in Indonesian). I know, in Mr. Amran’s heart, he is thinking about other ingredients for our daily breakfast menu. But, paddy rice is the main course for our nation. So that’s why ideas to develop rice production come first.
Amran said that there was a trial to produce paddy in Cilacap, using 500 hectare of land. The project was conducted by IPB, so named IPB 3 S. With control from experts in every single aspect (irrigation, seeds, etc.), they produced 13.4 ton per ha of paddy by the time president came over. This result surpassed national paddy production: 5.5 ton per ha. Assuming all land available in Indonesia is treated in the same way, the production can feed all of Southeast Asia.
My question is: can we apply this technology in the near future? Amran himself said that his big dream will be fulfilled if every stakeholder (undergraduate students, government, private companies) integrates to create and apply new technology of cultivation. It is impossible not because we don’t know the technology, but blame lack of implementation in real life.
If you don’t want your nation to be hungry in the future, take care and support the government to make more productive land. Do anything you can do: paper research, critics through essay, and even try to grow your own paddy rice.