BINUS UNIVERSITY lecturer and researcher Dr Bens Pardamean is currently developing his research on the utilisation of agricultural bioscience to support Indonesia’s food security measures. In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Pardamean aims to produce rice paddies that can withstand adverse weather conditions from droughts, to flooding and soil problems such as iron toxicity and high salt content.
Funded by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the research investigated the possible biomarkers — indicators of a biological state or condition — in rice grains that have desirable traits such as disease resistance and yield improvements. BINUS UNIVERSITY through its Bioinformatics and Data Research Center will then develop a molecular toolkit using bioinformatics and statistical methodologies to help scientists to study the genetic influences of Indonesian rice varieties. The toolkit will assist in selecting and testing the relationship of different biological pathways in rice that affect its resistance to severe weather conditions. Through this, it is hoped that different breeding lines can be tested and help farmers to produce greater yields of genetically superior paddies that can withstand extreme weather anomalies. Furthermore, the toolkit can also serve as a model for agronomic research on other plant crops in Indonesia. As environmental stresses constrain rice production in addition to other staple crops in Indonesia, the need to research and develop rice grain varieties with improved traits is gaining greater prominence as the country looks to food sustainability in the coming years.
As the natural resource-rich country, Indonesia faces unique challenges in strengthening its national food security thus research and development into key staple food items such as rice are essential to combatting continuous poor yields and the lack of quality seeds. As such, it is research projects carried out by BINUS UNIVERSITY's that are essential towards the long-term advancement of Indonesia's agriculture industry going forward.