Tuesday, 23 September 2014


The Association of Indonesian Farmers and Fishermen [KTNA] expected the Government to approve application of bio technology in Indonesia so farmers could benefit from it. Chairman of KTNA Winarno Tohir state in Jakarta on Thursday [14/8] farmers were not Permitted to apply bio-technology. Imported bio technology products like corn and soy had entered the domestic market.

Winarno underscored that farmers’ welfare and self reliance in food were indispensable. Therefore increased income from food must be technology and innovation based, an example was bio genetics. This according to Winarno was because most of the land for agriculture were mostly marginal land of sub-maximum land outsider Java, while in Java fertile land areas had shrunk dramatically.

Winarno said that it was necessary to be selective about choosing the plants to be planted. “We really expect the Government could promote application of bio technology and give us the chance to apply the most up to date seeding technology”

He further an important factor to be seen by the Government to step up food production by quality and quantity toward self-reliance in food in Indonesia. he disclosed that in 2013 18 million farmers in 27 countries plant their plants on bio-technology basis and 90% of them were poor farmers in developing countries. This illustrated farmers who were normally reluctant to take a risk in using biotechnology.

Almost certainly the positive impact of application of agro-technology was to increase agricultural production. The condition would reduce import of food which increased year after year. The advantaged would generate chain effect on industry sectors like farming, poultry, food processing etc. Therefore farmers needed to be given incentives so they would keep on probing on this sector. Farmers needed to be allowed to choose the kind of technology they wished to access.

Data of the Ministry of Agriculture had it that today bio-technology was applied on 175 million hectares of land in 27 countries for 17 years against 1.7 hectares in 1996. Nearly all countries had applied bio-technology. He further said that farmers’ liberty to choose was protected by the Law.

He explained that biotechnology was application of science and the principles of technology in processing a product based on biology as medium for producing by products, to purify plant or animals or develop micro organism for scientific purposes.

Meanwhile Diah Maulida, Deputy Coordinating Minister of Food and bio-resources said that the Government had just released Presidential Decree No. 53/2014 on the Commission of Genetic Engineering Products which made seeding and horticulture one step closer to marketing of genetically modified organism [GMO]. “By that policy, just one more step bio tech seed would be available in Indonesia market” Maulida said.

He said that technological experts, researchers and food and agricultural procedures were obliged to promote food production. The Presidential Decree was follow up steps to meet three food resiliency targets set by President SBY, i.e. increase of farmers’ income and to ensure sufficient food supply for Indonesia’s 240 million population. (SS)

Business News - August 20, 2014

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