Participants of BIOTROP’s Regional Seminar-Workshop on Optimizing Mycorrhiza for Sustainable Land Productivity in Southeast Asia agreed to establish an association of mycorrhiza researchers in the region.
Held on 9-11 November 2015 at the Centre’s headquarter in Bogor, the regional seminar-wokshop was aimed to provide a venue for mycorrhiza researchers and users to share knowledge and experiences, address challenges, and generate commitments to strengthen and work collaboratively towards optimizing the use of mycorrhiza for sustainable land productivity in the agriculture and forestry sectors in Southeast Asia.
The decision to form such organization was triggered by the current status of mycorrhiza research and the renewed global interest on the increasing potentials of mycorrhiza for enhanced production to address food security as well as for restoration of degraded landscapes based on the country reports by the participants and lectures by resource persons.
With support from the Expert Dispatch Program of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Japan and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Asia, the seminar-workshop was attended by 26 participants. They came from leading universities and research institutions in Indonesia (20), Malaysia (2), Myanmar (1), Philippines (1), Thailand (1) and Vietnam (1).
The resource persons and facilitators were Prof Keitaro Tawaraya from Yamagata University, Japan, Dr Nelly S. Aggangan from the Institute of Biotechnology, University of the Philippines at Los Banos, Dr Didier Lesueur and Mr Erik Delaquis from CIAT Asia, Prof Madya Dr Radziah Othman from Universiti Putra Malaysia, Dr Benito Heru Purwanto from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, and Dr Irdika Mansur and Dr Supriyanto from BIOTROP.
At the opening program, Mr Erik Delaquis, on behalf of CIAT Asia, thanked BIOTROP for involving CIAT in the seminar-workshop. He also shared CIAT Asia’s vision, mission and research activities on tropical agriculture including on mycorrhiza. He recognized that CIAT and BIOTROP have similar objectives of using research in the tropics to work towards increasing community welfare and environment sustainability in Asia.
BIOTROP’s Deputy Director for Resource Management Dr Arief Sabdo Yuwono, on the other hand, welcomed all the resource persons, country representatives and participants and officially opened the seminar-workshop. He said that this seminar-workshop on mycorrhiza in Southeast Asia falls under BIOTROP’s second program thrust i.e. Tropical Biology for Environmental Integrity, particularly under the focal topic of Landscape Restoration.Topis discussed during the seminar-workshop were:
- Orientation on CIAT’s Programs and Activities by Mr Erik Delaquis;
- Overview of Current Land Degradation in Agriculture and Forestry in Southeast Asia By Dr Benito Heru Purwanto;
- Advance Research on Mycorrhiza Related to Optimizing of Mycorrhizal Fungi for Land Productivity by Prof Keitaro Tawaraya;
- Application of Mycorrhizal Fungi in Forestry and Agriculture in Africa and Its Importance in Perennial Plantation in Southeast Asia by Dr Didier Lesueur;
- Mycorrhiza for Land Restoration: Best Practices, Challenges and Directions by Dr Nelly S. Aggangan; and
- Biotechnological Approach using Mycorrhiza in Relation to Soil Health by Dr Radziah Othman
The seminar-workshop was coordinated by Dr Dewi Wulandari, BIOTROP’s program coordinator.