FISIP Held Workshop on Irrigation Management

Experts in the field of water irrigation management and national food security Thursday (19/10/2023) enthusiastically revealed surprising important data related to handling the climate crisis, water crisis and food crisis.

These surprises were revealed in the data presentation presented by the speakers in the workshop with the theme “Irrigation Management for Strengthening National Resilience”, on the 7th floor of C Building FISIP UB.

Those who were enthusiastic about enlivening the event included the Secretary General of PUPR Ministry, Ir. Mohammad Zainal Fatah, Director of Water Resources at the Indonesian National Planning and Development Agency (Bappenas) Ewin Sopian Winata, ST, MEM. Then Deputy II for Food Insecurity and Nutrition at the National Food Agency of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Drs Nyoto Suignyo, MM and Director of Food and Agriculture at Bappenas RI, Jarot Indarto, ST, MT, M.Sc, Ph. D.

This workshop was even weighter because two former UB rectors participated, namely Prof. Dr. Ir. Yogi Sugito, and Prof. Dr. Ir. Moh. Bisri, M.Sc. Moreover, Sociology professor Prof. Sanggar Kanto, M.Si is also enthusiastic about exposing the problems of the climate crisis, water crisis and food crisis.

“Based on the national food insecurity index, East Java is classified as high, the level of food insecurity reaches 13.24 percent. Land productivity in East Java is also low. Consumption is greater than production, reaching 89.54 percent. “We must immediately work together to overcome food insecurity in East Java. Friends of FISIP and SDGs UB must appear at the forefront to overcome this problem,” emphasized the Director of Food and Agriculture at Bappenas RI, Jarot Indarto, ST, MT, M.Sc, Ph. D.

Jarot offers several models for overcoming food insecurity, including using a food system regionalization strategy. Transform irrigation governance, reform fertilizer subsidies, and create one national food data. In the future, fertilizer subsidies will be a priority for farmer groups, not for corporations.

In the workshop, participants received a lot of surprising data. For example, Prof. Bisri. Armed with his expertise, the former Rector of UB asked participants to focus on solving irrigation problems and food crises in downstream areas.

“Irrigation in upstream areas is no problem. In the central region, there are also no problems. The root of the problem is downstream. I ask us all to focus on solving downstream problems,” said Prof Bisri.

The root of the downstream problem, continued Prof. Bisri, is related to the stalled institutionalization of water user farmer associations. The HIPPA administrators need to be refreshed because they have not been replaced for years. “Friends in Sociology, we need to design a solution to this problem.” he explained.

Meanwhile, Prof. Sanggar Kanto emphasized three points. Firstly, there should be no more conversion of productive land for non-agricultural purposes as warned by the Secretary General of the Ministry of PUPR, Ir Zainal Mohammad Zainal Fatah who is also the Chair of IKA UB regarding the existence of rent seekers which have resulted in widespread conversion of agricultural land in villages.

“Therefore, I ask that social capital be strengthened. “For example, HIPPA needs to be strengthened through bounding, bridging and linking,” he said.

Responding to this appeal, the Head of Kedungrejo Pakis Malang Village, Betri Indriati, the Head of Sumberdem Village, Wonosari District, Purwati, and the Head of Sukodono Village, Dampit Malang, Suharto agreed to protect their areas so that no further conversion of technical irrigation land occurs. “In order for food security to be sustainable, there must be a commitment to food security,” continued Prof Sanggar.

Regarding food sovereignty in realizing sustainable food security, Prof. Yogi Sugito warned even more firmly.

“Don’t just talk about the president/ vice president candidates, stop land conversion in villages right now. I am concerned because local governments are going their own way. “I ask those at the center to focus on overcoming critical marginal land problems, for example by carrying out food diversification movements and conserving water resources in villages,” he explained.

In the event which was opened by UB Vice Rector III Dr Setiawan Noerdajasakti SH, MH, Deputy II for Food Insecurity and Nutrition at the National Food Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. Drs Nyoto, Suwidnyo, MM also released surprising data. “We are really experiencing a food crisis, because currently 74 districts and cities or 14 percent are experiencing food insecurity,” he explained.

Nyoto’s statement shocked the audience from the government, private sector, universities, NGOs and media. Even more surprising, Dr Muzakki MSi, Chair of UB SDGs Center who was the facilitator of the event, underlined the statement from the Director of Water Resources of the Indonesian National Planning and Development Agency (Bappenas), and Ewin Sopian Winata, ST, MEM.

“Of the 300 dams in this country, they only cover 12 percent of the irrigation area. Isn’t it dangerous?,” he said, greeted by laughter from the participants. As a result, there is a water deficit. In fact, 80 percent of the irrigation water is used for agriculture to ensure food security. In such conditions, Nyoto is concerned that farmers cannot do much to overcome this problem. Because 16 million people are farmers with small capital and have elementary school education.

What’s even more complicated is that in this crisis situation, city residents are too consumptive because they still produce 1/3 of food waste. Here, there is a national gap, because the amount of consumption is greater than the amount of food production. As a result of all this, food insecurity occurs.

“To overcome this, let’s move together to make the National Food Agency’s program a success, namely stopping wasting food,” he concluded.

This event supports the achievement of the 1st SDGs goal (no poverty), the 2nd SDGs goal (No hunger), the 3rd SDGs goal (healthy and prosperous life), as well as the balance of land and ocean ecosystems in the context of facing global climate change. (FISIP PR/ UB PR/ Trans. Iir)