BRIN: Adaptation, innovation key to saving dryland agriculture from climate change

Jakarta—The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) highlighted the direct impact of climate change on dryland agriculture and underlined the need for adaptation and innovation as crucial steps to protect the sector.

According to Yudhistira Nugraha, the Head of BRIN’s Food Crop Research Center, climate change is putting immense pressure on dryland agriculture, threatening crop productivity and food availability. With around 60 million hectares of dryland in Indonesia, of which 29 million hectares are used for agricultural production, this challenge requires an appropriate solution.

“Climate change directly affects food production in dryland ecosystems. Water provision is key in managing the dry land,” he said Tuesday, May 14.

Yudhistira believes that the water pump assistance program launched by the Ministry of Agriculture is the right step to increase productivity on dry land. The program is designed to increase the cropping index, including in rain-fed rice fields.

Ahmad Suriadi, a researcher at BRIN’s Food Crop Research Center, added that climate change also causes a 50 per cent drop in rice production when temperatures rise by 1-2 degrees Celsius. In addition, temperature changes can also trigger an explosion of pest attacks that damage crops, as happened with the locust infestation in East Nusa Tenggara a few years ago.

“This shows how important adaptation and innovation are in dealing with the impacts of climate change on agriculture and the need for science-based policies to build sustainable food security,” Ahmad said.

In this context, investments in research and innovation and cross-sector and cross-country cooperation are crucial in strengthening the resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems in the face of climate change challenges. Collaborative efforts at local, national and international levels are essential to deal with this increasingly real threat. (Hartatik)

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