Reduce Import Dependence, ICECRD Establishes Sugarcane Research And Development Cooperation With PT RMI

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ICECRD ACTIVITIES – Increasing sugarcane productivity can be done to suppress sugar imports. Currently, the price of local sugar is three times more expensive than the price of sugar in the international market. The high price of local sugar indicates that there is insufficient demand for supply. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts that Indonesia’s sugar needs will reach 6.8 million tons in 2020. Meanwhile, domestic sugar production in 2019/2020 will only reach around 2.1 million tons.

Based on data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the productivity of sugarcane plantations in Indonesia only reaches 52.2 tons per hectare. One of the efforts to reduce dependence on imports is to increase the production and productivity of national sugarcane through the creation and development of new high yielding varieties, in addition to expanding the planting area, which is very important, especially outside Java.

Responding to the sugar situation and efforts to increase national production, the Indonesian Center For Estate Crops Research and Development (ICECRD) continues to make technological innovations, especially in producing new varieties of bran (VUB) through research programs and activities. Previously, the ICECRD had released 4 new varieties, namely four high yielding sugarcane varieties, namely AAS Agribun, AMS Agribun, ASA Agribun and CMG Agribun.

The ICECRD continues to collaborate with various parties to conduct research and development of sugarcane, one of which is with PT Rejoso Manis Indo (RMI). This cooperation officially begins with the signing of the Cooperation Agreement, Wednesday (23/06/2021).

The signing was done online and opened with remarks from the Deputy President Director of PT RMI, Ir. Gratitude Iwantoro, MM. In his speech, Syukur appreciated the performance of the ICECRD for producing sugarcane technological innovations in the midst of the government’s efforts to push production targets. This effort would not have been possible without the synergy of various parties, especially PT RMI and the ICECRD. “For that, cooperation is needed in efforts to accelerate the achievement of national sugar production,” he said.

Head of the ICECRD, Ir. Syafaruddin, Ph.D. enthusiastically welcome this collaboration. All Heads of the Center for the ICECRD were even invited to attend online. “We are happy to provide our dissemination regarding the innovations that have been produced by the ICECRD and ISFCRI for sugar cane,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Head of ISFCRI Dr. Andy Wijanarko, SP, M.Sc. also expressed his ability to follow up on cooperation in the field. “Our RPIK activities in Blitar have started, on June 14 we have held the first technical guidance, where PT RMI was also present for socialization. In this RPIK, we hold activities in 50 ha (area), 35 ha for ratoon care and 15 ha for ratoon unloading,” explained Andy.

From PT RMI’s side, the signing was carried out directly by the President Director Bobby Stephanus Laluyan and the Head of the ICECRD by Ir. Syafaruddin, Ph.D was accompanied by the Program and Evaluation Coordinator, the Coordinator for Cooperation and Utilization of Research Results, the Head of Administration and structural officials within the Plantation Research and Development Center and researchers.

This Cooperation Agreement has the following scopes: (a) Research and development of sugarcane which includes research activities on breeding (assembly of varieties), agronomy, pests and diseases; (b) Management and utilization of germplasm and genetic resources of sugarcane; (c) Provision of new superior varieties of sugarcane seeds which are the best varieties; (d) Development of sugarcane data base, exchange and utilization of data and information; (e) Improving the knowledge and skills of Human Resources in tissue culture, biotechnology, and sugarcane Pests and Diseases; (e) Release of new high yielding varieties; (f) Use of research and development infrastructure; and (g) The preparation and registration of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and scientific publications are carried out by both parties.

This signing is the fourth collaboration carried out during the early semester of 2021. Previously, the ICECRD had signed a cooperation agreement with Central Lampung Regency, PT CME, and the Faculty of Biotechnology, Trilogy University. Hopefully, with this expansion of cooperation, the dissemination process and acceleration of development in the plantation sector will develop and progress. (Anjas)

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