Indonesia, 2016 – IAAS Indonesia held an event which gathered over 60 agricultural students from around the globe to attend the biggest and most important event of the year: the 59th World Congress of the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS).
Written by: Moh Athif Virtino, Organizing Committee of IAAS Indonesia
This summer, the committee of IAAS Indonesia organised the World Congress across the Java Island from July 23rd until August 14th. The theme of the event was ‘Plant Your Future’. Quoting from one of the Sustainable Development Goals with 169 targets: ‘you reap what you sow’, what means that what happens in the future depends on which seeds and in which way the seeds are sown in the present. In other words, our committee wanted to make an impact in the agricultural sector on a large scale.
Bogor was the city in which WoCo started with an official opening ceremony in Bogor Agricultural University. The representatives from the University gave lectures regarding the theme which would inspire the delegates throughout the whole event. The delegates were briefed by the Local Committee about their stay in Bogor. In the afternoon, they enjoyed a tour around the campus and later that night, the delegates were welcomed by the Mayor for a beautiful Gala Dinner.
The Congress visited ‘Sabisa Farm’ to get to know the cultivation of one of the most popular local tropical fruits, dragon fruit. The delegates from tropical countries would be able to cultivate different types of dragon fruit in their own hometown afterwards. After the farm visit, the delegates went on a trip to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. The presenter explained how Southeast Asia countries’ association might differ from any other regional association. To end the night, there was free time at a nearby mall.
The 3rd session of the GA in Bogor was held to discuss our new long-term strategy ‘IAAS 2020’. The delegates gave ideas and hopes regarding the future of IAAS and added them to the IAAS Tree of Values. This was the last day for the delegates’ stay in Bogor, so the Local Committee organized a nice farewell party.
On August 1st, cultural performances were held before the delegates moved to the next city, Semarang. We arrived late that night because of a long trip and crazy traffic.
In Semarang, we could visit Sam Poo Kong, a local Chinese temple. Then, hours before the sunset, the delegates were invited to plant some mangrove at a Village Concept Project (VCP) site of mangrove plantation. The main purpose of mangrove trees is to prevent coastal land as such from flooding with their numerous sturdy trunks. This was a great experience for us, because we helped the locals restoring local animal habitats and protected the city from flooding.
The last GA day existed of brainstorming for global projects and discussion of the amendments that were proposed for changes in the Constitution & By-laws. In the evening, we had a huge ‘Trade Fair’ event where each delegate presented local food and drinks and everyone had the chance to taste meals from all over the world.
Today, the delegates visited PT Indmira, a local farm of a VCP. We were invited to plant paddy in a rice field. Later that day, we went for a farm visit to Sabila farm. Unfortunately, due to heavy rain, we were not able to have a tour on the farm, but we enjoyed some cooking with dragon fruit.
The International Youth Climate Summit (IYCS) was held in Brawijaya University with the theme ‘Environmental Conservation VS Industrial Development’ highlighting one of SDGs purposes: climate action. Industrial development should grow rapidly and cannot be separated from the needs of modern society. Unfortunately, industrial development has negative impacts, such as global warming, that threaten our world. We, as the next generation in society, are challenged to change what has been going wrong for the past decades.
On July 24th, the WoCo delegates had an excursion and leisure time around the city, where they played traditional games and walked around the Bogor Botanical Garden. They also enjoyed an Orchid workshop and were able to discover a big variety of Orchid species.
Time for the General Assembly (GA)! We discussed internal affairs of IAAS World among the acceptance of new Candidate Members, the amendments of the Constitution & By-laws of IAAS and we reviewed the work of the previous Executive Committee (EC).
The 1st International Youth Symposium on Creative Agriculture (IYSCA) was held on the 5th day of the Congress, to promote IAAS on a national and international scale. The symposium’s purpose was to let the participants – not only the delegates but also other public international students -brainstorm about innovation in agriculture. Later that night, the participants of IYSCA and the delegates gathered together for a gala dinner accompanied by traditional dance and other local entertainment.
The delegates travelled to Bandung where they were welcomed humbly by the Local Committee with a gala dinner for the first edition of the ‘IAAS World Excellence Awards’.
In Bandung, we explored the Indonesian culture, so the Organizing Committee gave us the chance to play a very famous traditional music instrument, the Angklung. A wonderful experience, all playing and dancing together. Later that day, we visited ‘Jendela Alam’, a touristic farm where the delegates got to know more about the local agriculture in general, such as cultivating different commodities and a better view on the animal husbandry sector. Afterwards, we went for sightseeing and dinner to the city centre. To finish the day, we had our famous IAAS Development Fund night, where typical items which the delegates brought from their home country, were sold to support IAAS members from low income countries to attend international events.
On Wednesday, we visited the sponsor, PT Sidomuncul, a famous local company based on traditional herbs. We got a tour around its production site and learned a lot about producing medicines from spices and herbs. The company also owned a little zoo for the visitors with local animals, in which our delegates could walk around. In the afternoon, we went to another VCP site which was in Gemawang Village. The people in this village have different occupations, from farming until crafting Batik. The delegates were impressed by the humbleness of the villagers and we also got to learn how to craft Batik. Before the sunset, we continued our trip to Yogyakarta, where we arrived during the night.
After two full days in Semarang, we had our 4th GA session, where the next Executive and Control Committees 2016-2017 were elected, after they symbolically had to make wine from a bunch of grapes and watermelon with their feet.
The delegates were divided in 2 groups. One group went to visit the famous Borobudur temple and another group visited Taman Sari and Keraton. All of them are touristic places. In the afternoon, we went to buy souvenirs in Malioboro Street and had dinner at Balai Raos, where we played games and were singing Indonesian songs, as well as ‘Happy Birthday’ songs in all different languages.
The delegates had to wake up early in the morning and took the train to Malang, the last city. It took quite a long time to reach our final stop. During the trip, there were many beautiful views where we could see many farm fields and mountains.
Taji village is the VCP site of the local committee of Malang. The delegates were asked here to stay at the homes of local villagers. This way they learned about the daily life of villagers in Indonesia. It was a great experience for them to have felt the nature of the countryside. The villagers invited the delegates for dinner, organized a bonfire and prepared many traditional games.
The trip to the volcano site of Mount Bromo was another memorable activity for the delegates as they travelled by Jeep to get to the savanna and watched the sunrise there. Later that day, we enjoyed rafting in a local river.
The time went way too fast and the end of WoCo was near. The closing ceremony was held in Batu City.