How to Increase Rice Productivity in Facing Post-Pandemic Era of COVID-19

Currently, Indonesia's rice production has decreased, this will affect the increase of rice imports. In order to realize food security in meeting the needs of the community after COVID-19 Pandemic, it it’s necessary to have strategic, effective and efficient steps to fulfill national food demand.

This was stated by Chairperson of Peragi (Indonesian Agronomy Association) Prof. Andi Muhamad Syakir in the opening of Series 3 Peragi webinar event, (12/6). According to him, the population growth rate is 1.3 percent per year and it will turn out bad if the rice production gets decreased.

"Rice production in Java island has been decreased this year. Other reliable ecosystems such as dry land, swamps are being suboptimal. Special therapy is needed to increase productivity. Various steps have been taken to deliver the community towards food independence. Rice is indeed a foundation, but it needs to be improved with stable ecosystems such as irrigation, rain-fed rice fields, swamps and dry land that needs to be optimized.” He said.

According to him, Peragi as a professional organization will contribute ideas and provide awareness to jointly find solutions, so that food production will be increased.

In this opportunity, Dr. Suwardi, Secretary General of the Indonesian Peat Society Association (HGI) as well as the Dean of Faculty of Agriculture attended as a guest speaker and discussed about the potential land development for rice in Indonesia.

After the COVID-19 pandemic ends, government’s concerns about food insufficiency can be understood. Countries in the world that have been exporting rice seem to be holding back their food. Therefore, it is necessary to look for strategies to increase rice production from dry land and wetlands, especially swamps.

"Restoration of marginal land is needed in order to increase rice production. Indonesia has three types of marginal land, namely swamp and peat lands, acid sulfate soils, and acidic soils." He explained.

Application of rice field development from swamp land is developed in lebak swamp by building micro and macro polders that will acquire 200 thousand hectares, reclamation of rice land from peatlands is 100 thousand hectares, paddy land from reclamation of acid sulfate soils is 200 thousand hectares, upland rice in land sour 1-2 million hectares with reclamation of abandoned and intercropped land and new rice development in Pati is 2-3 million hectares.

Meanwhile, Dedy Mulyadi, member of Commission IV of Indonesian Parliament also conveyed about the restoration new land formation. The printing of new rice fields is basically aimed at only one, namely to increase the capacity of food availability in Indonesia, especially rice. So the local wisdom approach needs to be revived. For example is storing rice in the granary.

"In general, there has been a shift in basic necessities, such as commercialization in land management, such as rice-producing areas, where the level of needs is higher because the pattern has been changed. Rice is exchanged for money which is lost in one week and goes back to buying self-produced rice at a high price, " Dedy said.

This very interesting webinar presented several speakers and discussants such as Husnain MP, M.Sc, Ph.D (Head of the Center for Agricultural Land Resources, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia), Dr. Endang S Thohari (Member of the House of Representatives Commission IV), Dr. Sarwo Edhy (Director General of Agriculture Infrastructure and Facilities of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture), Winarno Tohir, MM (Chair of Indonesian Fishermen Farmers' Contact / KTNA) and moderator Dr. Sugiyanta (Secretary of PERAGI / Chair of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, IPB University). (IAAS/NRF)

Published Date : 15-Jun-2020

Resource Person : Dr Suwardi, Dedy Mulyadi

Keyword : Faculty of Agriculture, Printing of New Rice Fields, Rice Productivity, IPB University, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture