Indonesian Agricultural Transformation: Towards Food Sovereignty and Sustainability
Climate change has become a global issue of international concern. This is due to human behavior that often neglects and irresponsibly exploits the environment. The impacts of climate change are not only felt by humans but also by other living organisms, including plants and animals. One of the sectors significantly affected by climate change is agriculture.
Innovations and Latest Technologies Used in Sustainable Agriculture
The impact of climate change on agriculture is very significant. One of the effects is the irregular changes in seasons and weather patterns, making it difficult to predict when to plant and harvest crops. Furthermore, extreme temperature increases can affect the growth and quality of harvests. As a result, agricultural productivity declines, and the quality of crops deteriorates, leading to food supply shortages.
To address the impact of climate change on agriculture, serious and sustainable efforts are needed. One approach is to improve the quality and sustainability of agriculture. This can be achieved by reducing the use of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers that harm the environment. Additionally, the selection of crop varieties that are resilient to changing weather and climate conditions is essential.
Moreover, the implementation of modern agricultural technology can help mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture. For example, the use of efficient irrigation systems, the utilization of renewable energy sources like solar panels, and the use of drones to monitor agricultural conditions can reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture.
Farmers also need to receive training and education on environmentally friendly farming practices. This way, farmers can utilize agricultural land effectively and maintain an ecological balance to mitigate the effects of climate change.
In conclusion, climate change has a significant impact on the agricultural sector. However, with sustained and serious efforts such as improving the quality and sustainability of agriculture, implementing modern agricultural technology, and providing training and education to farmers, we can address the effects of climate change on agriculture.
Steps Taken to Reduce the Negative Impact of Agriculture on the Environment
Agriculture dominates the Earth but has many adverse impacts on the environment, which are increasing with the global demand for food. Agriculture is the most dominant land use on Earth and will continue to grow with the world's population and global food demand. This poses challenges to the natural environment, as it requires access to many of the same resources as agricultural producers and is negatively affected by the external impacts of agriculture.
Agriculture also contributes more significantly to various forms of environmental degradation compared to other economic sectors. Between 30% to 35% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originate from agriculture, and crop irrigation accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption.
The use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers has increased almost 21-fold since 1950, and now more nitrogen is added to agricultural soils than through natural processes. Nearly all the nitrogen derived from human activities is lost to the atmosphere or receiving waters. This eutrophication severely impacts aquatic ecosystems.
Phosphorus from fertilizers and animal manure, pesticides, and nanoparticles also exacerbate environmental pollution. Furthermore, poor agricultural management leads to soil degradation, reduces agricultural productivity, and increases the demand for nutrients, water, and land conversion.
To mitigate these adverse impacts, it is important to promote the cultivation of crops that reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This can be achieved by developing residue-free crop cultivation to produce healthy and high-quality crop products.
Chemical fertilizers should be replaced with organic fertilizers, while chemical pesticides should be replaced with alternative control technologies that rely more on biological substances and methods, including natural enemies, biological pesticides, and pheromones. This way, the negative impact of fertilizer and pesticide use on health and the environment can be reduced.
The development of agricultural waste processing technology has the potential to increase crop yields and help address environmental issues. This technology can transform agricultural waste into high-quality organic fertilizers that can be reused to enhance agricultural productivity.
The use of organic fertilizers in rural areas has many benefits. In addition to helping address agricultural waste issues, organic fertilizers can also increase agricultural productivity and reduce farmers' reliance on chemical fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers are also more environmentally friendly and do not have the same adverse impacts on the environment and human health as chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, the use of organic fertilizers can improve soil quality and enhance ecosystem balance.
Developing agricultural waste processing technology requires cooperation between farmers, the government, and research institutions. The government can provide support in the form of facilities and training, while research institutions can help develop more effective and efficient agricultural waste processing technologies.
Ministry of Agriculture's Efforts to Increase Indonesia's Food Sovereignty
The global food crisis threat has made President Jokowi continuously emphasize the development of food security as a government focus going forward. Many times, in various presidential agendas, President Jokowi has urged the public to keep producing to build food security. Human resource development must start with food sufficiency, especially in facing food crises due to extreme weather changes.
The Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) continues to promote sustainable agriculture to achieve food sovereignty. Sustainable agriculture is an approach to managing biological natural resources to produce agricultural commodities while maintaining ecological and economic sustainability.
"Agriculture should not only focus on financial gains but also consider its impact on the environment and society. However, sustainable agriculture still aims to achieve food sovereignty and self-sufficiency in Indonesia," said Suwandi, the Director General of Crop Cultivation at the Ministry of Agriculture, during the Propaktani Episode 1010 workshop titled "Sustainable Agriculture for Food Sovereignty" on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.
Suwandi explained that the goal of sustainable agriculture is to achieve food sovereignty and self-sufficiency. Food sovereignty means ensuring human rights to high-quality food that aligns with local culture and is produced with a sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural system without subordination to international market forces.
"To achieve it, the approach is to provide food by utilizing it to the best of our ability and maximize domestic agricultural production," he explained.
Regarding food self-sufficiency, Suwandi continued to explain that it is the ability of the country and its people to produce diverse food from within the country, ensuring individual food needs are met. This is done by utilizing the potential of natural resources, human resources, socio-economics, and local wisdom in a dignified manner.
"So the steps that can be taken to achieve food self-sufficiency include having a bias towards conducive policies and interventions in various aspects, from upstream to downstream, including the entire market, covering all regions of Indonesia," he stated.
Ihlana Nairfana, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Science and Technology at Sumbawa University of Technology, explained her support for the Ministry of Agriculture's efforts to achieve sustainable agriculture to ensure that the agricultural sector can be preserved for future generations. Sustainable agriculture has proven to have advantages in terms of economics, social aspects, and the environment.
"Sustainable agriculture consumes less water and energy, improves soil nutrient composition, reduces production costs, increases community participation, and is environmentally friendly," she stated.
"Sustainable agriculture is not a choice but a necessity, not only because it is part of the commitment to comply with the SDGs but, more importantly, to preserve agriculture for future generations," Ihlana added. (Nisa)