Prof. Hermanu Triwidodo Talks about the Role of Researcher Farmers in Sustaining Food Production in Climate Change

Prof. Hermanu Triwidodo, Professor of the Faculty of Agriculture, IPB University, said that climate change has an impact on the development of plant-disturbing organisms (OPT). Based on the experience of previous years, farmers can see and measure the impacts that occur. It can occur as a result of permanent climate change as a result of human activities or major natural phenomena. Pseudo-climate change that is part of a long-term cycle, such as the windu cycle. Or chaotic or patterned climate change (local or global).

"By understanding natural climate changes from rainfall measurements and agro-ecosystems, we can build knowledge to anticipate (OPT attacks)," he explained in the Propaktani Webinar "Becoming a Research Farmer: Sustaining Food Production in Climate Change", (6/9), held by the Directorate General of Food Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia.

By looking at data from eight years ago, he said, he could actually predict events in 2022 based on the eight-year windu cycle. He explained that this prediction can be made by integrating indigenous knowledge according to local knowledge based on observed data. This anticipation is complemented by the tendency of long-term patterns.

“Anticipation of the impact of climate change is usually observed based on three factors, namely global warming, floods and droughts, and increased carbon emissions. The effect of rising temperatures can accelerate the generation of insect pests in one season," he said.
Often, he continued, the increase in temperature causes the spread of attacks to spread, the explosion of insect-borne diseases is higher, to changes in the interaction of pests and plants. Increased carbon emissions will also change the carbon-nitrogen ratio so that the quality and nutrition of plants decreases, the rate of insect consumption increases, extends the time of insect growth, and decreases the abundance of pests.

According to him, mitigation strategies for controlling plant pests can be carried out by monitoring the dynamics of pest populations, invasive species and assessing pest risk. Then the development of a model related to forecasting the emergence of pests with an ecological niche model is carried out.

"Hopefully the farmers can find a pattern of similarities from the time series from previous years that are similar to the coming years," he added.
Idung Risdiyanto MSc, an expert on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at IPB University, said that the follow-up of learning farmers or researchers to respond to climate change is very much needed. First, documenting the methods and findings of observations at the site level as knowledge that can be disseminated, replicated and modified by related parties. In accordance with the local conditions of each region.

“Expanding aspects of observing climatic elements that affect plant development and growth. This must be studied together, not only about the rainy season but also the interaction of climate, soil, and vegetation elements,” he said.
He added, it is necessary to standardize climate observation instrumentation in collaboration with related parties, such as the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). Followed by the integration of observational data as a database in a wider time and space scale such as agricultural landscapes.

Not to mention, digitization and use of IT in the observation and documentation of climate and agro-ecosystem data. “This data can actually be developed into a decision-making tool system and an early warning system. So that the benefits are wider and can be felt by other groups of farmers who have the same land typology,” he said.

Lastly, he added, we need to enrich literacy and utilize open sources of information by involving competent sources. Develop thematic learning models such as the Climate Field School. (MW/Zul)

Published Date : 08-Sep-2022

Resource Person : Prof Hermanu Triwidodo

Keyword : IPB University lecturers, IPB University experts, agriculture, plant-disturbing organisms