SEAMEO BIOTROP in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) of the Republic of Indonesia conducted a training course on Plant Tissue Culture on 10-14 February 2020 as well as a training course and professional certification on Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) on 10-17 February 2020 to support the MoA’s Strategic Command for Agricultural Development (Kostra Tani) programme. These activities were participated by 50 lecturers and teachers of various Agricultural Development Polytechnics and Agricultural Development Vocational High Schools throughout Indonesia under the Agricultural Education Centre of the Agricultural Human Resource Education and Development Agency of MoA.
“Kostra Tani is an agricultural development programme applied at the sub-district level which is the optimisation of the duties, functions and roles of the Agricultural Counseling Center (BPP) in actualising national food sovereignty. To implement this programme, it is necessary for the actors, including lecturers and teachers of agriculture-based schools, to have specific skills that can help in overcoming real obstacles that occurred in the field. Therefore, we collaborate with BIOTROP to hold these tissue culture and GIS training courses with the hope that the capacity of our educational staff will improve,” said Dr Idha Widi Arsanti, Head of Agricultural Education Center of MoA, in her remarks. Dr Idha also mentioned that in agriculture, the plant tissue culture technique contributes to maintaining the quality of the seedlings in large quantities, while the GIS could be useful for agricultural development planning.
Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, BIOTROP’s Deputy Director for Administration, officially opened the activities. In his opening remarks, he emphasised that the Agricultural Development Polytechnics and Agricultural Development Vocational High Schools are expected to generate superior and internationally competitive human resources in agriculture field. The schools not only become a source of information for the community, especially farmers but also act as a facilitator and motivator for them in utilising various information and learning resources.
“BIOTROP has developed a plant tissue culture technique since 1985. To date, a lot of cooperation has been established with various institutions both for the provision of the seedlings and for the knowledge transfer. The Centre has also made a cooperation agreement with the MoA’s Agricultural Education Centre in terms of increasing human capability,” said Dr Zulham. Meanwhile, in terms of GIS, BIOTROP has conducted such research and experienced in delivering knowledge to the community. For the past three years, there were more than ten training courses that had been held. The Centre had also conducted a training course and professional certification on GIS previously for fourteen MoA’s staff.
For the tissue culture training course, BIOTROP featured its two experts, namely Dr Erina Sulistiani and Samsul Ahmad Yani, SSi. They delivered 14 topics in classroom and practicum sessions, including 1) tissue culture techniques for the production of plant seedlings, 2) plant micropropagation techniques, 3) facilitation of the production of plant seedlings by tissue culture techniques and aseptic techniques, 4) introduction and maintenance of tissue culture laboratory facilities and equipment, 5) tissue culture media for plant seedling production, 6) stock solutions of macro and micronutrients, 7) stock solutions of Fe-EDTA, Vitamins, BAP, IAA and growth regulators, 8) culture media making, 9) micropropagation of horticultural, medicinal and plantation species, 10) sterilisation of explants (seeds, shoots, tubers and rhizomes), 11) introduction of subcultures (elongation of shoots and shoot multiplication), 12) plant nursery management with tissue culture techniques, 13) acclimatisation media, and 14) post-acclimatisation maintenance.
Meanwhile, for the GIS training course, the resource persons were Dr Aslan, Harry Imantho, MSc, Armaiki Yusmur, MSi, and Slamet Widodo, SSi from BIOTROP, Dr Impron and Yon Sugiarto, MSc from IPB University and Iwan Setiawan, MPi from PT Agrisoft Citra Buana. They also presented their topics in classroom and practicum sessions, consisting of 1) introduction to GIS and remote sensing, 2) introduction to GIS software (proprietary and open-source software), 3) data acquisition using Global Positioning System (GPS) and drones to support precision agriculture, 4) image data processing, interpretation of satellite imagery and digitisation of spatial data, 5) geodatabase preparation, 6) working with attribute data, 7) spatial and non-spatial data integration, 8) spatial data analysis for precision agriculture, and 9) cartography and map layout for dissemination purposes. On the last day of the activity, the participants took the professional certification examination on GIS to measure their competence.
By joining these training courses, it was expected that the participants could make an action plan to be implemented in their respective institutions and transfer the knowledge to their students.