18 Apr 2016

Agricultural Extension as Conduit for Village Welfare

Dr Muktasam Abdurrahman has always had a strong passion for agricultural extension-the dissemination of knowledge, innovation and technologies to farmers through non-formal education. “I wholeheartedly believe that agricultural extension serves as a very strategic conduit to increase the welfare of agriculture-focused villages while at the same time preserving the communities’ social and natural capital,” Dr Muktasam elaborated.

Dr Muktasam’s dedication towards the field is evident through his studies. With a Bachelor in Agricultural Science from the prestigious Institut Pertanian Bogor (Bogor Agricultural University), Dr Muktasam was granted an Australia Awards Scholarship and went on to graduate with a Masters in Agricultural Science from Melbourne University in 1993.

In 1996, Dr Muktasam received his second Australia Awards Scholarship and went on to achieve his PhD in Natural and Rural Systems Management from the University of Queensland in 2000.

“My education has provided the skills and background necessary for me to conduct national and international research on rural development, eradication of poverty and community empowerment,” Dr Muktasam expressed his gratitude. Oftentimes acting as team leader and lead researcher, Dr Muktasam maintains communication with rural communities and continues to provide assistance for these communities.

Throughout the years, he’s been involved in research supported by The Nippon Foundation, World Wildlife Fund Nusa Tenggara, the World Health Organization and the Indonesian Directorate of Research and Public Service – Higher Education (DP2M Dikti), among others. Dr Muktasam has also conducted research supported by Australian institutions such as the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and was involved in research collaboration between Universitas Mataram and The University of Sydney. “I am privileged to have been involved in research with these various institutions,” Dr Muktasam stated.

In the last few years, as part of various research teams, Dr Muktasam has assisted farmers in developing poultry and livestock farming, organic farming and forest management, including herbal plants.

Dr Muktasam has also proposed “a one–gate system” in developing villages and eradicating poverty. “The idea is that coordination, convergence and divergence of programs and activities need to be achieved on the village level to attain synergy and to avoid overlap and chaos,” he elaborated.

Dr Muktasam’s various works have been published in numerous international journals, seminars and conference proceedings and included as book chapters in Australia and India. Dr Muktasam also actively participates and presents papers in scientific conferences across Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa.

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