SEAMEO BIOTROP conducted a training on identification and management of weeds and invasive plant species (IAS) in annual and perennial agricultural systems on 25 – 30 March 2019 at its campus in Bogor. The training was participated by 16 Agriculture Vocational Schools’ teachers and 5 representatives from research institutions and companies across Indonesia. This activity aimed to support the revitalization program of vocational school in Indonesia through increasing and sharing knowledge and experience of its teachers and their interaction with agroindustry practitioners regarding the management of weeds and invasive plant species.
“BIOTROP is currently engaged in the weeds and invasive alien plant species management since they may reduce up to 90% of annual agricultural production system. The problem solving for this requires a collaboration from related parties, especially the agriculture vocational schools and industries, to share the effective methods and experiences,” said Dr Irdika Mansur, the Centre’s Director, in his opening remarks. Dr Irdika also said that the graduates of vocational schools may have higher chances to contribute in the improvement of agricultural production system.
The resource persons of the training were Dr Soekisman Tjitrosoedirdjo, Dr Sri S. Tjitrosoedirdjo and Ms. Sri Widayanti, MSi, of SEAMEO BIOTROP; and Mr. Vicki Rizki Arneldi and Mr. Waskito Aji of PT Syngenta Indonesia.
During this training, the participants learned about: 1) Concept of weeds and invasive alien plant species; 2) Identification, taxonomy of weed species, and weed / invasive alien plant species data base; 3) Competition between crops and weeds; 4) Vegetation analysis, sampling technique, and its data analysis; 4) Principal of weed / invasive plant species management (critical period, economic threshold and integrated management in production system); 5) Herbarium management procedure and its processing technique; 6) Weeds and invasive plant species management (manual, mechanical, chemical and biological control); and 7) Herbicide application technique and its analysis.
“We also provided a field trip to oil palm plantation of PTPN VIII at Sukamaju, Cibadak, Sukabumi, West Java to let the participants experience the vegetation analysis and weeds identification, and obtain information on weed control management system that applied in the oil palm plantation at PTPN VIII,” said Dr Soekisman, the Centre’s IAS expert who was also the coordinator of the training.
Four groups of participants also presented their project assignments with the following topics: 1) Competition; 2) Vegetation analysis in the corn field with herbicide treatment; 3) Vegetation analysis in oil palm plantation, PTPN VIII, Sukamaju, Cibadak, Sukabumi; and 4) Biological control of Chromolaena odorata using Cecidochares connexa. They also formulated and presented individual action plans for implementation in their respective institutions as a course requirement.
Dr Soekisman concluded, “By holding this training, we hope that the participants will be able to implement the knowledge gained from the training directly in the agricultural areas of their respective schools, so that the weed and IAS problems will decrease and the production continues to increase.”