The need to establish an “Institute for Sorghum Studies in the Tropics” came out as a major recommendation during a National Seminar-Workshop on Current Status and Challenges in Sorghum Development in Indonesia organized by SEAMEO BIOTROP on September 25 – 26, 2012 at its headquarters in Bogor. This recommendation recognizes the multi-uses of sorghum as food, feed, fuel, and fiber and the research and training activities needed towards its further development and applications as reflected in the paper presentations and plenary discussions.
At the opening program, SEAMEO BIOTROP Director Dr. Bambang Purwantara, in his welcome remarks, emphasized the importance of research and training collaboration in sorghum development in Indonesia. He also stressed that all the research and training efforts that the Centre has put in for the past five years towards discovering and applying the multi-uses of sorghum are the result of the Centre’s collaboration with relevant government agencies and private companies. In his keynote address, Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Gusti Muhammad Hatta, MS, the Minister of Research and Technology of Indonesia, commended SEAMEO BIOTROP for organizing the seminar since sorghum is recognized by the Government of Indonesia as a national strategy for food security and safety. He also challenged the seminar participants to come up with more innovative approaches in sorghum development that the Ministry could support.
The seminar also became the venue for signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between SEAMEO BIOTROP and PT Samarina Surya Semesta that focuses on developing sorghum for ethanol production in Nusa Tenggara Province. Signatories in the MOU were Dr. Bambang Purwantara and Mr. Tirza Amir, Director of PT Samarina Surya. The sorghum-based products and other research outputs generated by the Centre were exhibited during the seminar.
Seventy-five participants from government, academic, and business sectors attended the seminar-workshop which was coordinated by Dr. Supriyanto, SEAMEO BIOTROP lead researcher in sorghum.