Who does not need to eat? none of the people in this world who are able to withstand hunger in a few days. This is a sign that the agricultural sector still an issue that never stale to always be discussed in this increasingly modern era. Agriculture will always be an important sector in the side of human life. The agricultural sector is a basis sector which must be fulfilled. As long as humans are still alive in the world, agriculture absolutly has to be done with great effort. Needs Maslow’s theory states that the basic human needs are physiological needs, it means that the basic factors like food become necessity before any other human needs are fulfilled.
The current world population is 5.3 billion and will rise by approximately 250 000 people every day (FAO 2015). As a result of food deficits, nearly 1 000 million people do not get enough to eat and over 400 million are chronically malnourished. Every year 11 million children under the age of five die from hunger or hunger-related diseases (Lean, Hinrichsen and Markham, 1990). Then, who will feed all human beings in this world unless from the agricultural sector. Increasing gricultural production absolutely must be done if we don’t want to famine disaster occur.
One of tne most important factor that obstruct production of agricultural are the presence of pests and diseases plant. Plant pests and diseases attack in Indonesia can decrease the yield 30-40% of agricultural products (Kementan 2013). Interference by pests and plant diseases not only at the time of cultivation practices, but also to the post-harvest agricultural products.
Nowadays, there are many farmers who use chemical pesticides as a main control pests and plant diseases. This condition occurs due to the lack of socialization of other control options that are safer for farmers. In addition, another with the low quality of education of farming actors in Indonesia as well as their age already old. BPS (2013) says that the average age of farmers is 54 years old and BPS (2010) that 55% of Indonesian farmers only finished elementary school or no school, and only about 5% are graduates.
Indication of pesticide negative impacts use is already being felt by all parties at the end of the 19th century with the emergence of pest resistance, resurgence, and the emergence of secondary pests, as well as adverse effects on human health and nature (Ohmart 2002). So that way, many scientists worked hard to research until finally came the new concept of control that is not only how to eradicate all of arthropods in agriculture field with chemical pesticides, but by managing agro-ecosystems so that the abundance of agricultural pests below threshold by integrating various control techniques. This is what is called the integrated pest management (IPM) (FAO 2015). By using IPM, pesticide use can be reduced.
The effort of pest control in accordance with the government policy in the Act No. 12/1992 and PP 6/1995 suggests that the plant protection carried out in accordance IPM system. Likewise responsibility for the implementation of the program is the responsibility of governments and communities together.
Implementation of the IPM application has actually been done by the government with forming a farmers’ field school of itegrated pest management, known as FFS. FFS is one approach of IPM application to improve the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of farmers in managing the pest in accordance with the concept of IPM (Earth 2015). FFS is so suitable with the the implementation context of IPM in Indonesia (Ministry of Agriculture 2013). FFS goal is to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and to increase the production of farming both quantity and quanlity (Rizal 2007).
Miller (2004) said that the use of pesticides progressively increasing, especially in developing countries like Indonesia. This shows unoptimal transfer process process of IPM technology through FFS program in Indonesia. One of the weaknesses in the implementation of the FFS program is the lack of agricultural extension workers and the participation of FFS in the field. Ministry of Agriculture (2014) revealed that Indonesia still needs 27 269 extension staff from the existing ones. As well as the low of participation level of the farmers. Based on Arifah research (2002) says that the level of participation of farmers to FFS program is not always high, for example in Ciherang village, Bogor, only 34.29% are actively participating.
One of the factors that affect the level of participation in the FFS participans are the extension methods. Arifah (2002) also said that the most preferred method by farmers is directly practice in the field. In addition, farmers also have a tendency to be easily redirected when viewing the evidence directly. This relates to the majority of farmers who are minimal human resources education and old age.
Limitations of the existence of agricultural extension officers in the field can be minimized by optimizing the level of participation of FFS farmers. Optimization of participation can be increased by improving extension methods, namely the practice of direct evidence that already exists in the field.
Land ownership for extension workers is a solution for limited FFS staff to implementate FFS programe. FFS officer should be given a plot of land (plots) that near to the farming practices of FFS participants. FFS officer also do the cultivation practice in his field by IPM methode. Counseling practice undertaken officers will also be done on their own land cultivated by the FFS offiser. With visible results are expected to be more participatory because the farmers can see the results directly.
The success of the officer in increasing farmer participation in the FFS programe will have an impact on the optimal implementation of IPM programs in the field. So the use of harmful chemical pesticides can be reduced gradually and integrately with good implementation of IPM.
Contributor: Hasan Bisri, Student of Bogor Agricultural University.