Indonesia holds fifth national agroforestry seminar
Agroforestry is vital for improving productivity and incomes in the face of climate change, especially for steep terrain and small islands, according to researchers and farmers alike.
Indonesia’s Fifth National Seminar Agroforestry was held in Ambon, Maluku province, in the east of the archipelago, 20–21 November 2014. Hosted by the University of Pattimura, it was attended by around 120 researchers and students from universities (Gadjah Mada, Pattimura, North Sumatra, Lambung Mangkurat, Bogor Agricultural University, Darussalam Ambon, Brawijaya, Padjajaran, Hasanuddin and Lampung), government research centres (Agroforestry Technology Research Institute in Ciamis, Dipterocarp Research Centre, Makassar Forestry Research, Forestry Policy Research Centre, Food Technology Research Maluku and Sulawesi), international research centres (World Agroforestry Centre and Center for International Forestry Research) and two non-governmental organizations (Operation Wallacea Terpadu and Masyarakat Agroforestri Indonesia).
Activities for the first day started with tree planting on the campus of Pattimura University. About 300 fruit trees, such as durian and mango, as well as indigenous species of ‘atung’ (Parinari curatellifolia) were planted by the seminar participants. An agroforestry products exhibition was opened, followed by a visit to Hutumuri village to observe the community’s complex agroforestry system featuring nutmeg, clove and durian as the main commodities.
Mr Poli, an agroforestry farmer in the village, explained that this system was the most suitable for the area with its hilly topography for maintaining water resources. ‘Whatsmore, I can harvest products continuously throughout the year from the different kinds of trees’ he said. ‘I don’t use any fertilizers or pesticides; I just cut weeds manually when I have time’.
The next day of the seminar was formally opened by the governor of Maluku, Ir Said Assegaf. The governor gave his full support to agroforestry, which he said was particularly apt for Maluku province given that it consists of small islands vulnerable to climate change.
Following the opening speech, Dr Ujjwal Pradhan, regional coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre Southeast Asia; Dr Ir Bambang Tri Hargono of the Forestry Research and Development Agency of the then Ministry of Forestry; Ir MAS Latuconsina, deputy mayor of Ambon; and Prof Dr Ir R. Oszaer of Pattimura University all gave keynote presentations.
Dr Pradhan introduced current research conducted by the World Agroforestry Centre Southeast Asia; Dr Hartono discussed the role of the Agroforestry Technology Research Institute as a new body under the Forestry Research and Development Agency, which had already established a national strategy for agroforestry research up to 2030. Mr Latuconsina highlighted the importance of developing ecotourism based on the Hutan Kota in Ambon, which integrated tree planting in its program. The final keynote speaker, Prof Oszaer, talked about the role of agroforestry as the best management system for small islands that are vulnerable to climate change.
In the afternoon, the seminar split into five groups sharing 91 presentations on 1) agroforestry systems for small islands and continents; 2) agroforestry for climate-change adaptation and mitigation strategies; 3) intensification of agroforestry landscapes for multiple products and services; 4) social-cultural, economic and local wisdom aspects; and 5) education and policy for agroforestry development. As well as the oral presentations, 29 posters were also displayed during the event along with the ten winning entries of an agroforestry photography competition.
In the group dealing with agroforestry systems for small islands and continents, researchers from Pattimura University, Agroforestry Technology Research Institute in Ciamis and the World Agroforestry Centre presented 13 papers that highlighted management options for improving agroforestry practices, such as 1) the role of local ecological knowledge and national policies in relation to best practices for ‘sagu’ (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.), a local priority species in Maluku province; 2) soil management and the use of various soil bio-activators for enhancing soil fertility; 3) intercropping timber (‘sengon’ (Albizia chinensis)), rhizomes and annual crops; 4) the current situation of pest and disease attacks on clove (Syzigium aromaticum) and nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) in Maluku and the implications for agroforestry practices; 5) understanding diameter growth of timber species in relation to site quality for smallholders’ timber production.
Prior to the seminar, the World Agroforestry Centre assisted the organization of an agroforestry photography contest open to the public. This was a way of disseminating agroforestry information through another channel, the medium of photography. Ninety-three entries were received, the majority from university students from several provinces. A panel of three, one of whom was a professional photographer of environment and wildlife, acted as judges for choosing the first and second winners, with popular voting selecting a winner through Facebook.
This work is linked to the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry