Indonesia Sugar Plantation Research (PPPGI) is one of the oldest agricultural research institution in Indonesia, and has currently reached 125 years old. With such a long research history, PPPGI is the one who mastered national high-yielding sugarcane clones, therefore legally and formally, there is no other institution that has complete sugarcane clones. Suyoto Hadisaputra, Director of PPPGI, stated this matter.
This condition has caused capacity for producing high-yielding clones to be almost unlimited. The fact is that due to funding problem, the role in supporting an integrated sugarcane agribusiness is unoptimal, he said.
So far, PPPGI has been in a grey area as it is neither governmental institution nor a corporation so it faces funding difficulty.
Since 2010, the status of PPPGI has become clear. PPPGI has now become the subsidiary company of PT Riset Perkebunan Nusantara. While, PT Riset Perkebunan Nusantara is a company whose stocks are owned by all state-owned plantation enterprises in Indonesia. With its clear status as a corporation, PPPGI has been ready for business expansion.
The first thing to be done is meeting seed demand for sugar self-sufficiency. Currently, to meet sugar self-sufficiency requires seeds in a very large quantity. The present capacity of PPPGI to produce network culture seeds is 25 million seeds a year. This amount is very low.
Because in 2012, PPPGI will perform expansion by increasing production capacity four times to 100 million seeds a year. Next year, if demand remains high, it will be increased again. Even, it is attempted to produce up to 200-300 million seeds a year. Investment comes from the holding company, namely PT Riset Perkebunan Nusantara. Go sugarcane seeds are developed by network culture system in acclimation tubes for 6 weeks, than it is trans-planted on research field to become G1 and G2 seeds. G2 seeds are developed on test field to become G3 and G4 seeds which are ready to be cultivated on sugarcane plantations owned by farmers.
In any condition, PPPGI Pasuruan will continue to perform sugarcane assembly to acquire a high yielding variety seeds with various types of area. PPPGI is ready to support national sugar self-sufficiency program of 5.7 million tons, even though it is not supported by sufficient fund, with target of sugarcane seeds production at 8 billions of sugarcane bud chips.
Other technological breakthrough which is currently made by PPPGI is a tool for taking sugarcane samples for measurement of individual sucrose content. Several countries, for example Thailand, has applied individual sucrose content so that farmers who produce good sugarcane and those who produce good sugarcane and those who produce bad sugarcane, receive different rewards.
For this, a tool for taking samples from lorry or truck is needed. This tool is being developed and commercialized by PPPGI. With this tool, sucrose content analysis will be done objectively. Agriculture Minister, Suswono, expects PPPGI to continue developing and increasing high-yielding variety seeds so that farmers demand can be met and national sugar self-sufficiency can be achieved. I am sure that PPPGI Pasuruan who has been renowned and has been experienced will be able to fulfill it, he said.
The Agriculture Minister admitted that unclear status of PPPGI is a problem in giving funding assistance. Therefore, the Agriculture Ministry takes strategy by increasing social assistance to farmers. We provide high-yielding sugarcane seeds to farmers by the seeds we bought from PPPGI, he said.
The Minister stated that national sugar consumption is at 5.7 million tons, and to meet industry demand, it is still fulfilled by import. Meanwhile, to achieve sugar self-sufficiency program from sugarcane plants on a 450-hectare area, its sucrose content is still low. And, to increase sucrose content, sugarcane quality must also be increased by using high-yielding seeds.
Business News - July 18, 2012