Food Sufficiency Should Rely on Germination

Human food sufficiency determines civilization. Behind such sufficiency there is cultivation which dictates culture, which is crop cultivation. And germination is the foundation of crop cultivation.

Food is the pillar of culture, and cultivation is the pillar of civilization. How people look for food and how they earn a living really depend on their skill in cultivation. Therefore, crop cultivation really determines culture, and even people civilization in certain nations. When talking about crops, there is the term budidaya (cultivation). Budi means the sense (encompassing the knowledge of species, technical abilities, and even philosophy), and daya involves the values of power and characters, and the ability to gain final successes.

Indonesia is still weak in terms of food matters. We always face a food shortage, so almost every food in demand is imported from other countries. One of the factors is that we are weak in germination. That is why when the government intended to grow the agricultural sector, we still had to set aside a budget to import seeds.

Where is the problem?
Informal education in germination for farmers does not go well. Many farmers are still lack of knowledge about germination, so though poor, they still need to be consumers. Germination is indeed not an easy process, but on the other hand, because of its being difficult, it needs to be handled because what is difficult does not mean it cannot be overcome.

Realizing this situation, Odesa Indonesia sets a germination process as the basic pillar of agricultural activities. Therefore, they supervise the germination process done by farmers, one of whom is Kang Agus Kopi in Sindanglaya. He had a good basis for an agricultural matter at the beginning especially because of his hobby of collecting seeds of various kinds of plants. This basis is what is embraced by Odesa Indonesia by providing a special monitoring. Odesa Indonesia does not only provide funds, but they also supervise the improvement of science and other things to guarantee that the germination will end up in a harvest. There are plenty of coffee and other medical plant seeds which have been grown successfully, and Odesa does not need to bother buying seeds to stock for farmers in North Bandung Area (Kawasan Bandung Utara/KBU).

The education in germination will keep going on among farmers. Since the beginning of 2017 moringa seeds have become an important issue because we still have not had special seeds for moringa, which should have been plants for many people. When other countries whose agricultural sector is well-developed such as Israel, the United States, France, Cuba and the others have cultivated moringa plants since 2013, we still have not made a concrete move yet. Only a few have made their move out of their initiative.

Some who are information-savvy immediately grow moringa though they still rely on plant cuttings, but the quantity of plant cuttings will not suffice to meet the agricultural needs. People can only say “in our village there are many moringa trees and they can be used for plant cuttings”. It turns out that there are only a few, and even if the cuttings grow, there are going to be around hundreds of trees only, while we need hundreds of thousands seeds.

Value and Price

Plant seeds have a high value because they really determine the initial movement of agriculture/food cultivation. Besides the amount (quantity), seeds also need quality. That is why one’s abilities to plant seeds should be considered as a plus. Such abilities may come from knowledge, funds, and patience that takes up a long time to initiate successful germination.
Seedling buyers who have the budgets are actually the more convenient ones because they are not exposed to many risks as they just need to grow the plants. One of their risks is that they need to have the money to buy the seedlings, but still, if you collect the seeds yourself, you will need an effort and ample knowledge and practical skills to process them. Moneyed people may take a shortcut by buying seedlings. If you want to save up some money, then in order to perform germination, you need to be competent because germination process is risky, starting from the possibility of species failures after several days, pests, a long treatment time, and an expense for infrastructure.

So, when it comes to germination oftentimes it requires a budget for its own and a budget for the farmers. For example, good coffee seeds will be very difficult to get with a price lower than Rp3,000 (a packet price for a thousand seeds) because it can take 7-9 months for the treatment.

While moringa seeds can have a higher price due to special treatment required. The retail price for moringa can reach up to Rp15,000-25,000 per seedling of 3-to-4-month old, while the packet price for a hundred seeds is between Rp8,000 and Rp12,000. And the packet price for a thousand seeds is cheaper, which is Rp4,000-6,000.

Farmers need to be expert in germination to be successful. However, if they can afford buying seedlings, then they only need to work on the treatment of the plants until harvest.
In the end, food sufficiency really depends on seed sufficiency. Therefore, to get out of the agricultural stagnation, all of us need to deal with the germination problems seriously. (Faiz Manshur). (Translated by Steve, Portalkata)

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