Wetland For Future Food Production In Facing Climate Change
1Muharizal Sarwani, 2Mohammad Noor, and 1Edi Husen
1IAARD Researchers at Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resources Research and Development (ICALRD). Jl. Tentara Pelajar No. 12 Cimanggu-Bogor
2IAARD Researcher at Indonesian Wetland Research Institute (IWETRI). Jl. Kebun Karet, Lok Tabat. Banjarbaru-South Kalimantan
Utilization of wetlands for agriculture in the last few decades shows rapid development. However, the growing issue of climate change and global warming in line with broad and rapid development of wetland is envisaged by potentially increasing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Therefore, implementation of environmentally benign farming system needs to be realized. The basic concept of environmentally benign or friendly farming in the context of wetland agriculture is the ability and efforts to maintain agricultural Production (yields and economics) at a certain optimum level. This concept is highly dynamic concerning the nature of wetlands in relation to its historical development for farming and current choice versus global demand. The choice is related to the government’s strategic policy to protect and feed the people that continue growing. Meanwhile, the demand in respect to the international concern is related to the world issues and the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and development of green economy. Wetland farming system consists of biophysical and socioeconomic elements interlinked with each other. Biophysical elements include subsystems of soil, water, plants, pests and diseases, and environment. Socio-economic elements include comparative advantage, public perception, and sociological conditions. Environmentally friendly farming in the context of wetland agriculture develops as a result of the interaction between biophysical and socio-economic elements. Efforts to be addressed to support the implementation of environmentally friendly wetland farming systems are: (i) improving land and crop management system, (ii) increasing in value added, (iii) strengthening institutions, and (iv) policy support.
Utilization of wetlands for agriculture has been taking place since the 13th century at the era of majapahit kingdom (Darmanto 2000). In the period 1950-1980 Indonesian is rice importing countries. To minimize the import, the Indonesian government expanded the area of food crop in wetland area targeted 5.25 million ha in Kalimantan and Sumatra for 15 years through the Tidal Rice Project (P4S). The P4S project is supported by the transmigration programs for the poor in Java and Bali Kalimantan and Sumatra settlement. However, the use of wetlands increases public concerns in relation to environmental issues, land degradation, and poverty. Stronger environmental issues are related to climate change and global warming along with the rapid development of oil palm and rubber plantations in the wetland area that allegedly has the potential to increase greenhouse gas emissions (Agus and Subiksa 2008; Suryatmajo 2012).