Prof. W. Ronnie Coffman, an International Professor of Plant Breeding and Director, International Studies Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, USA visited Department of Agronomy and Horticulture (AGH), Faculty of Agriculture, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Bogor – INDONESIA. Prof. Coffman came to Bogor as an invited speaker in a seminar at IPB International Convention Center.
Prof. Ronnie Coffman is rice breeder from Cornell University, USA. In his seminar entitle: “The New Opportunity – The Future of Plant Breeding” at the Dept. AGH, he discussed the global important of plant breeding in the future and the important of global competitiveness in plant breeding.
He noted: “To plant breeder, the planting area (field ) should be treated as – solar array, where we could capture the sun rays.” “What plant breeder need to do is to improve the element that collect solar energy and make them more efficient,” stated Prof. Coffman.
“Total factor productivity, reflects total economic cost of production per unit of output.” Within it, it accounts for subsidies (transfer within economy) and price changes (inflation).
Prof. Coffman also discuss that vigorous plant breeding sector is required to ensure the competitiveness of agriculture because it required to increase efficiency. Two major challenges are faced by future plant breeders, such as: (1) The threat of climate change and (2) the number of world population.
“Climate change is real,” he stressed. “This global climate changes will generally result in less rainfall at the lower latitude and more at all higher one. Variance in the amount of rainfall is expected to increase at most locations. These conditions may results in major changes in pest and disease infestation in the fields,” continued Prof. Coffman. To answer those, plant breeder need to work hard and international partnership are needed.
The following are snapshots (slides) of participants attending Prof. Ronnie Coffman seminar at the Dept. AGH: