The Indonesian Biotechnology Information Center (IndoBIC), in collaboration with the Agriculture Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSP II), held a seminar on “Biotech Potato as Eco-Friendly Solution to Control Late Blight Disease” for farmers, agricultural officers, and scientists on 25 November 2014 at BIOTROP’s headquarter.
Late blight disease is one of the important diseases of potato which causes an extreme loss for potato farmers. It is difficult to control because there is no fungicide that could effectively control the Phytopthorainfestant as the disease-causing agent. Thus, the seminar was conducted to provide information and share results of public perception and socio-economic studies to the participants on biotech potato as an alternative solution to control the late blight disease.
This seminar was officially opened by Dr Hilman Affandi, BIOTROP scientist, on behalf of IndoBIC and BIOTROP Director Prof Dr Bambang Purwantara. In his speech, Dr. Hilman emphasized the importance of biotechnology in providing solutions to overcome food issues aside from increasing productivity and farmers’ income. Also present during the seminar were Dr Frank Shotkoski, Director of ABSP II from Cornell University and Prof Dr M. Herman, Indonesia ABSP Coordinator.
Through the lecture-discussions, the participants learned about the (1) Current Status of Study on Biotech Potato Resistance to Late Blight Disease, and (2) Status of Biosafety Study (Environment Safety and Food Safety) on Biotech Potato by Dr Dinar Ambarwati and Prof Dr M. Herman, respectively from Indonesia Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources (ICABIOGRAD); (3) Biotech Potato Registration Preparation Process by Ir Kusmana from the Indonesian Vegetable Research Institute (IVRI) and (4) Public Perception and Social Economic Impact of Potato Biotech by Ir Dahri Tanjung from the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolutions, Regulation & Policy Analysis and Community Empowerment (CARE – IPB).