On Friday, October 18, 2019, the Indonesian Sugar Research Institute (ISRI) welcomed a visit from Bernard Siegemund, director and representative of eRcane. The eRcane is a sugar research institution located at Reunion Island, an island in the Indian Ocean that belongs to France. The eRcane has made a significant contribution to the development of the sugar industry on Reunion Island through the selection of various new superior sugarcane varieties and research in genetics, agronomy, and technology.
The event began at 2:30 PM. The eRcane delivered a presentation, consisted of an introduction to the geographical conditions of Reunion Island, sugarcane cultivation systems on the island, and the introduction of some of the eRcane’s superior varieties. Soil types and climatic conditions at sugarcane fields on the island vary, with the rainfall ranging between 500-5000 mm. Consequently, the sugarcane management system applied in various regions on the island was also different. Reunion Island has wetlands, but also rainfed lands for sugarcane cultivation. The eRcane is very concerned about the development of sugarcane varieties. Each variety has different suitability in various regions on Reunion Island. The eRcane can pick varieties that can adapt to local or specific agro-climatic conditions on the island. Besides increasing sugar yield and sugar content, breeding activities and selection of appropriate sugarcane varieties also aim to enhance disease resistance and the ability of plants to be ratooned (ratooning ability).
In the end, the eRcane expressed their gratitude to the ISRI for giving them a chance to get acquainted with some ISRI researchers. In turn, we also hope that research collaboration will be established between the two institutions in the future. The event was then closed with a question and answer session, as well as a photo session with some researchers of the ISRI.