Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has called for the acceleration of innovation and technology in plant breeding to create more superior horticultural and plantation plant varieties.

The realization of sustainable agriculture commodities must be supported by the accurate development of technological innovation, head of BRIN's Agriculture and Crop Research Organization, Puji Lestari, said in a statement posted on the agency’s official website on Saturday.

This technological innovation must also be applicable and easily accessible to the general public, she added.

The combination of breeding technology and cross-discipline can act as a tool to produce superior horticultural and plantation seeds and measured supporting technology for broader economic expansion.

The potential of horticulture and plantation sub-sectors in Indonesia can play a significant role in economic development. However, tapping into this potential still poses many hurdles, both external and internal.

To this end, the development of innovation and technology can support the realization of sustainable agriculture commodities, which can bolster the contribution of the horticulture and plantation sub-sector to Indonesia's economy.

For example, cocoa and coffee are a source of foreign exchange, jobs, and land as well as water conservation for Indonesia.

Through plant breeding technology, new varieties with superior characteristics, such as high productivity and better quality, can be produced, which can be utilized by the people and industry.

To support food resiliency, industrial material availability, and export fulfillment, BRIN's Horticulture and Plantation Research Center is striving to continue creating superior variety candidates produced by the Agriculture Ministry.

Research-based cooperation between BRIN and Agriculture Ministry is expected to contribute to Indonesia's economy in the future through the utilization of research and innovation results with a variety of industry partners, Lestari noted.

In relation to this, BRIN is also encouraging genetic exploration to improve the quality of Indonesian bananas, including creating banana plants that are resilient to fusarium wilt.

"Exploration of banana genetic diversity must be done promptly," researcher at BRIN's Genetic Engineering Research Center, Fajarudin Ahmad, said during a virtual seminar on Friday.

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Translator: Martha H S, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Sri Haryati
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