Prof. Suria Darma Tarigan Proposes Implementation of Multi-Function Landscapes to Improve Biodiversity Due to Monoculture Agriculture

Many people think that the problem of biodiversity is only related to forest landscapes and wild species. As a result, we do not realize that other types of biodiversity have escaped our attention, namely agricultural biodiversity or agrobiodiversity for short.

Agricultural land is one of the landscapes that save the world's biodiversity. Agro-biodiversity is biodiversity in agricultural landscapes that are important for ecosystem services. Such as regulating soil biological activity, nutrient and water cycles in the soil, insect pollinators, and natural enemies of pests and soil carbon sequestration. Recently, there is a new trend where global companies, which are engaged in the supply chain of agricultural products, include biodiversity components in their decision-making processes and corporate operations.

This was conveyed by Prof. Suria Darma Tarigan, Permanent Professor of the Faculty of Agriculture, IPB University during the online Pre-Oration Press Conference for IPB University Professors, 17/6.

According to Prof. Suria, there is currently a Trade Forum for Sustainability Development which has the potential to include the biodiversity component in the free trade agreement. According to him, Indonesia has agricultural products that are marketed globally (such as rubber, coffee, cacao, and palm oil) so Indonesia needs to respond wisely to the issue of biodiversity and trade.

“We certainly want our agricultural products to compete in the global market. Every effort to improve biodiversity in the agricultural supply chain will increase the competitiveness of our agricultural products in the global market," he said.

For this reason, this expert in soil science and land resources at IPB University introduced a strategy to improve the level of agro-biodiversity of monoculture landscapes (one type of plant) in Indonesia. Namely with the implementation of a multi-function landscape.

He said, monoculture systems generally dominate the cultivation system on agricultural land. Monoculture landscapes use intensive inputs to achieve high productivity but may have low agro-biodiversity levels. This condition will result in non-regenerative ecological functions. And in the long run, it can ultimately reduce productivity.

“The IPB University research team conducted an international research collaboration CRC990 in the form of implementing a multi-function landscape on an oil palm plantation in Jambi Province. We create an island of agroforestry with various dimensions. The smallest is 5 x 5 meters to the largest 40 x 40 meters. We adjust the types of plants that we plant on the Island of Agroforestry according to the preferences of the local community. There are Sungkai, Jengkol, and Avocado," said this expert on aquatic hydrology at IPB University.

Prof. Suria found that the implementation of the island of agroforestry in oil palm plantations has the potential to increase agro-biodiversity. There has been improvement in soil biological activity, improvement in nutrient and water cycle ecosystem services.

“The result of this multi-functional landscape implementation can ultimately increase competitiveness in the global market and at the same time increase the regenerative power of monoculture landscapes. Especially for smallholder plantation farmers, the implementation of multi-functional landscapes in the form of agroforestry will increase income so that they are more resilient from an economic perspective,” he explained.

Prof. Suria concluded that the implementation of a multi-function landscape with an island of agroforestry design has the potential to produce a win-win trade-off of ecological functions and production functions. "The implementation of multi-function landscapes also has the potential to produce biodiversity-friendly agricultural products and improve the competitiveness of Indonesian agricultural products in the global market. In addition, the target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has also been achieved," he said. (Zul) (NRB/IAAS)

Published Date : 17-Jun-2021

Resource Person : Prof Suria Darma Tarigan

Keyword : Monoculture Agriculture, Agroforestry, IPB University