Some time ago during a lecture at the campus I listened to a message from Prof. Ir. Totok Agung Dwi Haryanto, M.P., Ph.D regarding the importance of considering conservation and economic value. He said (more or less) “When we are conservation-oriented we need to consider economic value, while when we are oriented to economic values don’t forget to conserve“.
He is an expert on plant breeders, and I am an enthusiastic person in the study of plant protection. The message has a very deep meaning. It takes effort that is not easy to make it happen. Not easy but means it cannot be realized. For others, this might be a bit excessive but for me, this is a brilliant message that needs to be realized.
After the lecture finished I went home to take care of filing for practical fieldwork before departure. I am still thinking about the message. As previously stated, I was very enthusiastic about the study of plant protection so I thought the message was realized to manage plant pest organisms, especially pests, by utilizing the potential of nature to support human interests, namely to make plant production stable and environmentally friendly.
After reading a number of references on the issues of chemical pesticides and reading articles on environmental-based pest management, it finally led to my idea that is: The combination of landscape architecture and cultivation of honey bees in paddy planting as a continuous pest control effort and development of local agro-economic tourism. This idea originated in an environment-based farming system by combining the science of landscape architecture and food crop cultivation, where garden plants, especially flowering types can be a supportive part of aesthetics, but other functions are the location of the main plant protection from pests by attracting natural enemies, becoming pest traps and pest repellents.
Research from Putra et al. (2017) regarding the addition of Trigona (Tetragonula) laeviceps Smith on kabocha pollination (Cucurbita maxima) showed the results of insect visits during observations per 10 minutes starting at 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. indicating this increase increased visits to insect pollinators. Similar research with Wardani et al. (2013) regarding flower block planting on apple plantations showed the functional status of herbivore arthropods 54.14%, predators 17.13% and pollinators 28, 72%. If we take the assumption of these two types of research, gardening around the area of crop cultivation (paddy) will provide an abundance of stable arthropods so that the food chain is able to function properly in the agroecosystem.
Flower gardens if managed properly have tourism potential because of their aesthetics. Farmers benefit from crop yields and the benefits of tourist visits and so farmers are not so dependent on synthetic chemical pesticides that can be polluting and harmful to the environment. This system can also be used for more than tourism potential and natural protection; it can be used to support honey bee culture because the waste plant is a source for bees to produce honey from nectar and plant pollen, so farmers can get more results.
Indonesian farmers generally plant rice at the end of the year towards the beginning of the year between December and March. The application of this system needs to be carried out in stages and it is planned to start from pre-planting rice so that flowers in the garden can flower early.
While suitable honey bees used are Trigona sp. and Apis sp. for honey production, it is then positioned in the middle of the planting season, namely at the beginning of the planting of rice plants and the flowering season in plants in the garden, so that food for bees can be sufficiently available . The application of this system is carried out in the low to moderate with a range of 80- 500 meters above sea level so that insects are able to move because temperature and humidity will greatly affect the activity of bees. The topography is not as influential because the garden arrangement system can be flexible.
The location that was targeted by this concept was the area that produced rice, and the area that I chose was Kedungbanteng Village, Baturraden District, Banyumas Regency, Central Java, Indonesia.
I think the idea that if this idea is realized and succeeded, many benefits will be gained starting from more economic value and conservation because biodiversity in the agroecosystem can be maintained and free of pollution, so there is no loss for humans and the environment.
Dede Yusup Ziaulhak, Indonesia