|Dr. Ir. Syarif Husen, M.P., showed the plantlets of the findings. (Picture: Rino / PR)|
As an agricultural country, it is duly for Indonesia to be independent in producing staple food and spices. Even so, Indonesia turned out to have another story with potato plants.
Data reported by the official page of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, horticulture plants are often consumed by the people of Indonesia. In the last five years, the average potato production has reached 1.213.828,6 tons a year.
Ironically, from the amount of production and demand for potatoes, the availability of seeds or potato planting material can only be 15% which can be provided independently by Indonesia. Apart from quantity, another problem is also about the supply of quality seeds.
Seeing this fact, the lecturer in the Agrotechnology Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry University of Muhammadiyah Malang (FPP UMM), Dr. Ir. Syarif Husen, M.P., has a solution to the problem of potato seed production.
To solve this problem, Syarif developed potato seeds in the technology of in vitro culture in the form of plantlets and aeroponic technology to produce potato seeds in the form of zero generation tubers (G0).
This technique began with the isolation of meristem tissue as a planting material which has Latin name Solanum tuberosum L. Then, propagated by subculture under aseptic conditions (the conditions was free from microorganisms diseases).
When growth is perfect, it will become a complete plant called plantlets. "These planlets can be sold to seed breeder farmers as planting material to produce G0 tubers which must be planted in the screen house," he explained.
This planlet that was ready on sale has received a legality delegation from the Lembang Vegetable Research Institute for the Granola Lembang variety so it is declared free from virus and it is classified as a quality product.
Besides producing plantlets from in vitro culture, Syarif and his team also developed G0 tubers with Aeroponic techniques. That was cultivation without using the land so it was very efficient.
"This technology is a form of distribution of research results and commercialization from results of research which received funding from the Indonesian Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education in the form of community service programs," said Syarif.
This technology was registered by Campus Intellectual Product Business Development Program (PPUPIK). By organizing PPUPIK, universities have the opportunity to earn income and help to create new entrepreneurs.
To expand its marketing, this program partnered with seed breeder farmers in East Java. Syarif hoped that this potato seed product can help to solve farmer problems for procurement of quality potato seeds on a national scale. (Win)