What is Balittro?
The Indonesian Spices and Medicinal Crops Research Institute (Balittro) is a technical implementation unit under the coordination of the Indonesian Center for Estate Crops Research and Development within the Ministry of Agriculture. The institute was developed as a result of the need to support the spice, medicine, and essential oil based agroindustries. Balittro’s main research programs are focused on producing superior plant varieties and eco-friendly and sustainable cultivation methods, and conducting product development research. Balittro’s technological findings will then be adapted to specific areas or to end users such as farmers or companies. The novel technology can be adapted to increase the quantity and quality of spices, medicine, and essential oils to improve their global competitiveness and to improve the farmers’ and companies’ welfare.
Balittro’s Partnership with SpiceUp
SpiceUp’s partnership with Balittro is one of the consortium’s partnerships with the Indonesian government. The partnership aims to increase the scope of pepper farmers registered to SpiceUp’s mobile app and to improve the quality of pepper produced. In the SpiceUp consortium, Balittro is responsible for developing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in pepper farming and training for GAP trainers. Balittro as a research institute provides the trained human resources to assist local farmers, and provide guidance for developing GAP in pepper farming.
Balittro also conducts <a href="http://balittro.litbang.pertanian.go.id/?p=4204" target="_blank" rel="noopener">workshops </a> with SpiceUp in key pepper producing areas in Indonesia. One of the most recent events is a workshop introducing the International Pepper Community mobile application, “IPC Farmers App”, in Bangka Belitung, Indonesia. SpiceUp and Balittro had the opportunity to share information regarding pepper quality improvement programs with Bangka Belitung pepper farmers, especially in regards to receiving training on sustainable practices. During this workshop, Balittro and the Director General of Plantations provided insights regarding the importance of applying GAP in pepper farming, and SpiceUp promoted their farmer accompaniment services in pepper training. SpiceUp and Balittro’s partnership will be promoted further to provide GAP training to achieve the goal of reaching 100.000 pepper farmers all across Indonesia.