Sixty-six farmers and agriculture officials from West and Central Java attended the Seminars on Potato Resistant to Late Blight Disease (Phytophthora infestans): an Improvement Result through Breeding Technique and Biotechnology and Its Biosafety Assessment in Indonesia conducted in Bandung on January 22 – 23, 2014 and in Wonosobo on February 6, 2014. The seminars were jointly implemented by the, Indonesian Biotechnology Information Center (IndoBIC), ICABIOGRAD (Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development), ISAAA (international service for the acquisition of agri-biotech applications), and SEAMEO BIOTROP under the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP II).
Mr. Kusmana of the Indonesian Vegetables Research Institute shared information on potato variety improvement through conventional breeding. On the other hand, Prof. Dr. M. Herman and Dr. Dinar Ambarwati, both ICABIOGRAD, discussed biotechnology applications in trait improvement of potato resistant to late blight disease, and status and progress of biosafety assessment study on potato resistant to blight disease, respectively.
During the discussions, the participants expressed their enthusiasm in adopting biotech crops and supporting biotechnology to help them improve their production and increase their income especially in growing potato.
As a culminating activity, the participants visited field trial sites for biotech potato through farmer-cooperators in Garut and Banjarnegara. The visit enabled the participants to see the difference in growth between biotech and conventional crops.