The famous Broadway theater player from the United States, Ben Vereen, once stated that if someone planted the right seeds, the future would be better.
In other words, if at first you plant something new well, eventually you will also receive good things in the future.
At present, with Indonesia’s trade balance still in deficit (although it has improved over the past few years), the government continues to strive to promote exports.
The last method is used by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), which reveals the existence of new business opportunities that can be worked on by national marine and fisheries business actors, which are precisely related to high economic value water ornamental plants.
According to the Head of Maritime and Fisheries Research and Human Resources (BRSDM) Sjarief Widjaja’s KKP, water ornamental plants, often referred to as aquatic plants or aquatic flora, are considered new businesses and new commodities that must be delivered to the public as business opportunities.
But at this time, according to him, some people still do not know the benefits and uses of these plants.
Sjarief Widjaja stated that the economies of scale of the business opportunities for ornamental water plants are actually still considered to be below the surface, so the information needs to be explored and driven by production for exports.
He explained that water plants are part of freshwater fisheries that have high economic value, but most people do not know the benefits and uses of these plants.
Seeing the enormous potential, the CTF’s Marine and Fisheries Research and Human Resources Agency began research on aquatic plants which began with data collection of endemic Indonesian aquatic plant species that have potential as aesthetic or aquarium decoration and as medicine.
Breeding Innovations Meanwhile, the Head of the Center for Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Mastur revealed that his party will continue to encourage what BRSDM KP does, especially in the innovation of breeding ornamental water plants.
Mastur believes that the effort to cultivate ornamental water plants is a type of business that is tempting for anyone who wants to start a business, both fishermen and other cultivators.
For that, he is ready to support if needed, such as providing research results or other data that is useful in developing the commodity.
Regarding the study and inventory of endemic aquatic plants in all Indonesian waters, Sjarief assessed that it was important to do this before being claimed by foreign parties.
Because the demand for aquatic plants is in great demand in the country to foreign countries.
Therefore, the BRSDM KKP through the Ornamental Fish Cultivation Research Center (BRBIH) conducted various research innovations to encourage the economy of farmers and aquaculture farmers.
One of them is using tissue culture techniques or in-vitro innovations in water ornamental plants for aesthetics and new natural herbal medicines for fish diseases.
Sjarief Widjaja has identified 218 species that will continue to be bred from the target of 400 existing species.
He stated, if doing breeding in the usual way would take time so that the tissue culture process was carried out in accelerating the breeding process.
Besides that, BRBIH has also identified endemic aquatic plants from the waters of the island of Borneo, namely the type Bucephalandra which has an economic value in the country of Rp50.000-500.000 / rhizome (rhizome) and export value of 300 US dollars / rhizome.
At present, he said, the sale of Bucephalandra does exist, but it is taken directly from nature, meaning it is not the result of breeding.
In fact, he continued, by cultivating these commodities in addition to encouraging production also has high economic value because they are endemic only in Kalimantan.
From 2016 to 2018, BRBIH has collaborated with the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources, Agency for Agricultural Research and Development of the Ministry of Agriculture (BB Biogen Ministry) in multiplying ex situ aquatic plants by utilizing the potential of cell and biotechnology to create innovative in vitro plants
By utilizing the potential of these cells, aquatic plants can live outside their habitat and can be harvested as much as desired.Aquatic plants also grow uniformly and are pathogenic free so they are good for fish.
In-vitro cultivation is a method to isolate parts of sterile plants, grown on sterile artificial media, in sterile culture bottles and in aseptic conditions, so that they can multiply and regenerate into complete plants.
Ahmad Sani took care of his merchant water plants in the ornamental fish center in Jalan Sumenep, Menteng, Central Jakarta, Tuesday (14/6).(ANTARA / Fanny Octavianus) Herbal medicine While the second research innovation is related to the development of new natural herbal medicines for fish diseases from aquatic plants.
BRBIH researcher, Media Fitri Isma Nugraha conveyed the first thing that was done was inventorying all water plants on the island of Sulawesi and looking for active compounds from these aquatic plants that could function as new natural herbal medicines in fish diseases.
Plants that are found to be able to kill pathogens that cause fish diseases include Edwardsiella ichtaluri, Streptococcus agalactiae, Aeromonas hydrophilla, Flavobacterium columnare, and Chromobacterium violeceum.
From the research, Media said, it had also inventoryed 200 species of aquatic plants from South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi and had registered as one patent.
The plan, the process of cultivation of ornamental water plants will be socialized to farmers in the near future, with the hope, farmers can get the harvest of ornamental water plants in large quantities without damaging the ornamental plant ecosystem in nature.
Related to the plan to develop ornamental plants for export, Daily Chair of the Indonesian Marine Scholarship Association (ISKINDO) Moh.Abdi Suhufan stated, KKP needs to really review the plans for developing the water ornamental plant business for the purpose of being exported to foreign countries.
According to Abdi Suhufan, KKP needs to conduct an evaluation by first checking the data and the extent of the role and contribution of the CTF in assisting the business of water ornamental plants.