Wednesday, October 27, 2021, the Guidance and Technical Meeting “Development of Hybrid Corn Supports National Economic Recovery in 2021” has been held in Umbu Ratu Nggay Barat Village, Central Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province.

The event was attended by the Head of the Cereal Crops Research Center (Dr. Muhammad Azrai), the Person in Charge (Dr. Andi Takdir Makkulawu) and the team, the Head of the Central Sumba Regency Agriculture Service (Nyong Umbu K. ​​Pari S.TP), the Secretary of the Agriculture Service ( Yance Landukara S.Sos), Namu Kima Nyuma Farmers Group, Harapan Jadi Farmers Group, Awa Pama Farmers Group, Syalom Farmers Group, Field Agricultural Extension Coordinator and members, and local farmers.

In his speech, the Head of the Agriculture Service, Nyong Umbu K. ​​Pari S.TP expressed his highest gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture, especially the Agricultural Research and Development Agency (Balitbangtan) through the Cereal Crops Research Institute related to the “Demfarm of Corn Cultivation Technology Innovation” high-yielding varieties. Balitbangtan production that has been implemented. The Regency Government and Farmers of Central Sumba Regency really feel the benefits because it really helps change the mindset of the farming community.

Human resources are a major problem in Central Sumba because most of the people have an education level only up to Elementary School (SD) so that it has an impact on limited access and low application of technological innovations. With this activity, it has an impact on changing the behavior of farmers who have been letting their land fallow after being planted with rice because farmers have received knowledge and examples to grow crops more than once a year, said Nyong Umbu.

Furthermore, Kadistan said that the research results from Balitbangtan stated that natural resources in Central Sumba generally have a very low organic matter content because they are formed from lime deposits, so extra handling is needed.

Regarding water resources, only hope is from the sky (rainwater) and there is no other technology to get water. There are several wells, check dams and dew that have been built as sources of irrigation, but the discharge is still low. Infrastructure was also very limited before the Food Estate (FE) activity, but after the FE activity, facilities and infrastructure began to be equipped with 180 tractors that were deployed to cultivate the land, said Nyong Umbu.

He hopes that the human resource empowerment program in the context of increasing knowledge and skills related to agriculture is more advanced, independent and modern. Kadistan is very grateful to the Cereal Crops Research Institute because the activities carried out are escorted from land preparation, processing, planting, plant maintenance to harvesting, farmers get guidance and direction on how to cultivate corn properly and correctly.

The commodities that have been planted are Balitbangtan hybrid corn as a result of innovations made by the nation’s children, including varieties JH 37, NASA 29, Bima 9, Bima 14, HJ 21, and free-polluted maize varieties Pulut URI, Srikandi Ungu, Jakarin, Lamuru, and Provit-A . Several obstacles were encountered in the implementation of activities including; drought, locust attacks which are extraordinary in number even millions, so farmers are a little afraid to plant, but Mr. Kadistan firmly emphasizes planting first, we will report the problem of grasshoppers later to related parties who can provide solutions for handling them.

Ending his speech, Nyong Umbu said that the number of planting locations in Central Sumba Regency is ±2000 ha which is divided into several areas. The target of FE activities is to provide materials for food in Kab. Central Sumba, where unused land has been transformed into fertile land. It is thanks to the struggle of the Regent of Central Sumba that FE activities can be carried out, in order to lift the community’s economy from the problem of poverty. “When they (farmers) are prosperous, we are also happy,” he said. Nyong Umbu said and hoped that the team assigned by Balitsereal would continue to assist farmers in the FE area of ​​Central Sumba.

The Head of the Cereal Crop Research Institute, Dr. Muhammad Azrai gave extraordinary appreciation for what was conveyed by Mr. Kadistan because it could motivate farmers in FE activities for the creation of agricultural glory in Central Sumba. Human resources must be addressed, and need to be trained step by step so as to produce quality human resources.

Furthermore, Azrai said that technical guidance had been carried out both directly and materially by Moch Arif Subechan, SP, MP and Syarifuddin as a companion for the Central Sumba FE activity. Balitcereal handles all provinces of Indonesia, we have to serve and they are not random people, they have to be tough people, that’s why Dr. Andi Takdir Makkulawu was assigned the task of being in charge of the activities. They are capable people, and have proven successful in leading the mentoring activities everywhere so that the approach to the community is better. That’s the reason Balitsereal assigned its best people here.

This is related to the enormous challenges in Central Sumba. Another thing is the low soil organic matter greatly affects agricultural yields, there must be gradual land conservation efforts. After planting corn, continue with planting sorghum because sorghum plants can improve soil fertility. Likewise, farmers’ questions regarding the market for their harvest, they don’t need to worry because Indonesia still lacks corn.

Azrai said in front of the participants that just do it first, don’t think about who will buy it, because the government must have prepared it. “If it is in accordance with corn” then don’t be forced to plant other crops because corn with good and maximum care has higher profits than other food commodities. He suggested to Kadistan to report and ask the center regarding pest control technology, especially grasshoppers that are currently attacking crops in Central Sumba. The seeds have been filled, the inputs for production have been filled, just need to be cared for properly. If people outside can do it, we in Central Sumba should be able to too.

Ka. Balitsereal assures that the people of Central Sumba have a very high spirit of mutual cooperation, so that the success of this activity is expected to be higher. It was further stated that the next activity from the center was Integrated Farming (integrated agriculture), as many as 600 locations with the main commodity being corn so that the technology that had been obtained from the mentoring so far could be implemented by Central Sumba farmers and make the best use of this FE program.

Economic recovery activities are carried out in order to recover the economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit this country. Azrai hopes that Central Sumba can produce seeds independently, so that the price of seeds is not too expensive and easily accessible by local farmers and hopes to become a seed center for Sumba Island and even Flores Island and its surroundings. Speaking of sorghum plants, it can be made as sorghum flour for food, if on a large scale foreign investors can be invited, because apart from making flour, the fiber is also used for fuel. the seeds can be fermented into very good quality wine. With the planting of corn and sorghum which will be rotated on the FE land, it is hoped that it will complete and restore the economy in Central Sumba Regency.

At the end of the event, the national hybrid corn seed aid was symbolically handed over to farmer groups and handed over by the Head of Balitsereal (Dr. Muhammad Azrai), Head of the Central Sumba Agriculture Service (Nyong Umbu K. ​​Pari S.TP), Secretary of the Agriculture Service (Yance Landukara S. .Sos) and the Person in Charge of the Demfarm for Hybrid Corn Cultivation (Dr. Andi Takdir M).

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