JAKARTA, July 7 — The use of superior seeds can help improve the productivity of oil palms in Indonesia, which is not yet optimal, according to the National Research and Innovation Agency (Brin), reported Antara.

“Seeds with high productivity and of (good) quality need to be continuously explored and developed to increase national production,” head of Brin’s Agriculture and Food Research Organisation, Puji Lestari, said in a statement issued by the agency here yesterday.

Brin is still focusing on the development of oil palm-supporting technologies to optimize production, she informed. The development of superior varieties depends on the availability of genetic material, which is still being explored.

If oil palm seeds are of good quality, production can be supported through proper fertilisation and pest and disease control, including by utilising artificial intelligence technology or biological technology, as well as other relevant cultivation technologies.

Brin is not only focusing on efforts to improve the quality of oil palm seeds and fertilisers, but also calculating the sustainability aspect and reducing the environmental impact.

“Oil palms’ production is highly dependent on fertilisation to ensure optimal growth and results,” she said.

“While synthetic fertilisers are commonly used in oil palm cultivation, farmers’ interest in alternative fertilisers that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable is rising,” she noted.

Manure and compost are essential materials in organic fertilisers that improve soil fertility and nutrition, as well as increase microbial activity.

Lestari said that organic fertilisers, as alternatives, can be used as a solution to increase the productivity of oil palms because they contain microorganisms that are beneficial for the soil and plants.

Those microorganisms can help increase the availability of nutrients in the soil, control plant pathogens, and increase crop productivity, in general. — Bernama-Antara