Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. “BRIN will be happy to help support the process of developing the agricultural sector in West Sumatra to be even more advanced. BRIN has been for a long time developing biological organic fertilizers, used for post-harvest for various cases using various methods. This includes post-harvest management, fortification, stunting and so on,” explained Head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, during an audience with the Governor of West Sumatra at the Innovation Hall of BRIN Building, Thamrin, Jakarta (8/4).

“We feel challenged to prepare the necessary technologies related to the needs in the agricultural, food and other sectors needed by the province of West Sumatra,” said Handoko.

Governor of West Sumatra, Mahyeldi Ansharullah, said that the agricultural potential in his area is very large. In 2021 agriculture was the leading sector of West Sumatra which contributes to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GDP) of up to 21 percent. “During the last Covid-19 period, agriculture was one of the sectors that was not affected by the pandemic,” said Mahyeldi.

He further said, West Sumatra also supplies horticultural crops to surrounding provinces. “We also supply horticultural crops to surrounding provinces such as Riau, Riau Islands, and our neighboring province, Jambi,” said Mahyeldi.

“Agriculture, forestry and fisheries are the biggest contributors to Sumatra’s GRDP at 23.16%, followed by wholesale and retail trade such as car and motorcycle repairs at 15.31%, then the transportation and warehousing sector at 12.66%,” explained Mahyeldi in his presentation.

“One of the reasons we are here today is that we want to get technology to develop organic fertilizers. Now we in West Sumatra are taking a policy for the provincial State Civil Apparatus (ASN) to consume organic products in order to boost organic agriculture,” added Mahyeldi.

“Furthermore, in agriculture, we also need technology to replace synthetic pesticides with botanical pesticides as pest control, as well as the technology for processing essential oils and technology to reproduce seeds through tissue culture and other propagation technologies,” Mahyeldi explained.

“In the food sector, we need simple technology that can detect the content of formaldehyde and hazardous materials in processed food ingredients and products, coating technology for fresh plant products so that they can be stored for a longer period of time and drying technology for plant products or foodstuffs that are independent on the weather,” concluded Mahyedi.

Head of the Agricultural and Food Research Organization, Puji Lestari explained, “In terms of helping to accelerate the flagship program in West Sumatra, especially those related to agricultural and food commodities, BRIN is ready with the technology. The application will be directly assisted by the experts, besides that there are also several technologies that are in the research and development process so that later they can be collaborated “.

Puji explained that BRIN has developed liquid organic fertilizers, some of which have been patented. Some of these fertilizers will be applied to vegetable commodities, using several application methods. These solid organic fertilizers will be applied to enhance soil productivity and improve the physical, biological and chemical structure of the soil. This will eventually increase crop productivity.

“We have also developed essential oil processing technology. There are two technologies, first extraction for refining essential oils and second distillation for essential oils. To see the processing process, you can visit our laboratory in Puspiptek, Serpong,” explained Puji.

“BRIN also has the technology and expertise to multiply seeds by tissue culture. This technology depends on the type or genotype but God willing, so far we have tried this technology on several varieties that are rather difficult, and it can work. The facilities used do not really require very expensive equipment,” she concluded.  (set/ed: drs)