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Various Research Activities Carried Out in ALRIC CoE

Archipelagic Dryland Center of Excellence (ALRIC CoE) of Nusa Cendana University is established to support the University Core Scientific Model, i.e. Archipelagic Dryland. ALRIC CoE is supported by two state of the art Laboratories, i.e. Integrated Bioscience Laboratory and Integrated Field Laboratory. The Integrated Field Laboratory consists of three technical laboratories: Food Crop and Forestry Laboratory, Livestock Laboratory and Fisheries Laboratory. These laboratories are used for research activities of lecturers and students of Nusa Cendana University, for scientific development and technological innovation associated with development of archipelagic dryland. Many research activities involving lecturers and students have been carried out in Integrated Field Laboratory of Archipelagic Dryland. Research activities undertaken in the field laboratory of Food Crops and Forestry cover both land and plant aspects.

Research activities related to land aspect

A study of land aspects among others is a study to evaluate the effectiveness of several soil conservation methods in erosion control on Entisol soil.

Research on land aspect includes evaluation the effectiveness of several soil conservation methods in erosion control on Entisol. This research involves two lecturers and four students. Also, another research related to evaluation of soil fertility was carried out to provide data about soil fertility status of Field Laboratory of Food Crops and Forestry that is useful for future research going to be carried out in this laboratory. Soil fertility analysis revealed that macro nutrient content of N, P, K in this Field Laboratory are sufficiently available to support the crop growth and development.

Research activities related to upland rice germplasm

A research team of lecturers from Faculty of Agriculture, coordinated by Yosep Seran Mau, conducted research related to pigmented upland rice germplasm collected from various locations in East Nusa Tenggara Province. The study elucidated 40 accessions of red and black rice cultivars/landraces for their genetic diversity based on both morphological and agronomical characters. This research has been conducted for two years i.e. 2016-2017, involving 4 lecturers and eight students. The study results showed that the rice germplasm is genetically diverse in both morphological and agronomical characters, and hence it is more likely to identify desirable traits in future studies involving this germplasm. The research results have also been published in an international and Scopus indexed journal: Biodiversitas, January 2017.

Preliminary yield trial of the rice germplasm has also been conducted in 2017, and a number of accessions with high yield potential (4-7 t/ha) have been identified in the study. The yield potential of these local upland rice accessions are higher than that of the check varieties, thus they are more likely to be used as parental source for assembling of new improved pigmented upland rice varieties. Research on drought tolerance has also been done during the dry season (June - October) 2017 involving four students, both in the screen house and in the field laboratory. The results showed that ten accessions of local pigmented upland rice were tolerant to drought stress. These rice accessions are invaluable parental sources that can be used for development of new improved varieties through hybridization.

Research activities on sweet potato

Research on sweet potato is performed in two aspects; breeding and agronomical/cultivation aspects. Sweet potato breeding carried out in this laboratory was started with evaluation of cross-compatibility among local clones, Indonesian released superior varieties and introduced varieties.  A number F1 population have been generated and evaluated in the Greenhouse and in the field for preliminary tuber production capacity. Several clones were identified to have the ability to produce tubers > 500 g/plants in the Greenhouse and >1000 g/plants in a single plot evaluation. These clones have a high yield potential and will be further evaluated to identify clones with high yielding ability (> 30 tons/ha) that can be proposed as candidate of superior varieties. Research activities related to agronomical aspect is currently underway to elucidate the effect of various combinations of organic (cow and chicken manures) and inorganic fertilizers on growth and yield of orange flesh sweet potato. The effect of types of raised beds and planting holes are also now being evaluated for growth and yield of orange flesh sweet potato.