On 5-8 July 2017 Dr. Feldman had a visit to Bogor Agricultural University (BAU), Indonesia under ITPGFRFA-BSF Grant. He visited farm in close proximity to BAU campus: Kampung Mangis, Cibeureum. Five Indonesian bambara groundnut landraces were planted (names: Sumedang, Tasik Malaya, Gresik, Madura, Sukabumi). Previously groundnut was grown at the site and now was the first time bambara groundnut was being cultivated there. Goat manure was applied and the farm was purely rain-fed.
Through discussions, it was proposed that the most suitable places in Indonesia for bambara groundnut farming are Sumedang (West Java, highland, dry) and Madura (East Java, lowland, dry). Dr. Feldman had a chance to visit the potential field sites in Sumedang where the ITPGRFA Project will take place. The area was certainly drier than Bogor, which receives rainfall daily.
During the visit, Mr. Faizal, the Masters student on the ITPGRFA Project presented his project proposal which focus on the relationship of testa colour with drought tolerance. The project is scheduled to be running from July 2017-April 2018. In the first season, it was proposed to cultivate five / potentially six Indonesian landraces, segregated by colour and harvested on per plant basis (so as to genetically purify them): Madura (black), Sumedang (cream, brown, dark purple), Gresik (dark purple, black), Sukabumi (black), Tasik Malaya (brown, black) and potentially Bogor (unsure of colour(s).
There would then be opportunity to correlate molecular data with testa colour, with characterisation to be done in CFF/UNMC. Observations and measurements would also be taken to assess and evaluate crop performance and physiology (depending on the availability of equipment) under rain-fed conditions.
In the second season, the best performing purified Indonesian landraces would be grown alongside core parental lines (global germplasm), as well as local farmer planting material. Crop performance and physiology would be evaluated but with the added component of farmer outreach by comparing current farmer management techniques and genetic material to the common Project protocol and germplasm.
A discussion also held to have a collaboration between CFF and BAU for application of possible Indonesian research grants. Main focus area will be on current farming practices, genetic resources, environments, food processing and markets for bambara groundnut in Indonesia (East and West Java).