Agricultural students' opinion about some issues on sustainable agriculture
Wijaya, C. Hanny
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Agricultural students should be the motivators to promote society awareness on sustainable food security. Sustainable agriculture is one of the most important factors to ensure sustainable food security. This research is intended to collect preliminary data about agricultural students' opinion about some issues on sustainable agriculture. The research was conducted from August 2002 to June 2003 on agricultural university students from Bogor Agricultural University, Djuanda University (the Faculty of Agriculture) and Sahid University (the Faculty of Agricultural Technology). The number of questionnaire returned was 103. Agricultural university students' knowledge about indigenous auxiliary vegetables is poor. Most of the students (86%) recognized less than 50 % of the 33 plants being asked. Most of the students considered that grass is useful, weed is useless, and wild plants are both useful and useless depends on the situation. The facts are detrimental for the conservation of Indonesian biodiversity. About environment and human safety, most students considered that organic farming was safe. Meanwhile, green revolution method was considered dangerous, (mostly because of the chemicals), and transgenic farming was mostly considered safe and dangerous depends on the situation. About the yield, most students considered that green revolution method would produce the highest yield, and organic farming would produce the lowest compared to transgenic farming. The quality of organic farming products is considered superior, followed by transgenic farming and green revolution method respectively. About preference, 76% students choose organic farming if they become a decision-maker. It seems that safety and quality consideration are more important to them rather than yield. From the reasons that they described and the high proportion of 'do not know' and 'no answer' group, it seems that the students' knowledge about farming method, especially transgenic farming is limited. It would be troublesome to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable agriculture if the students' knowledge is lacking. The students do need obtain balanced scientific information and to be encouraged to study from the society and the nature.
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