Indonesia’s hidden hunger due to micronutrient deficiencies, especially iron (Fe) nutrition, inspired Prof.Dr.Ir. Suwarto to solve the problem. After persistently conducting research since 2007, Prof. Warto succeeded in finding three hopeful strains Unsoed-fe2, Unsoed-fe-27, Unsoed-Fe37. His persistence in finding solutions to the nation's problems and his interest in plant breeding led him to be inaugurated as Professor of Plant Breeding Science on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at Soemardjito Building. His inaugural speech entitled "Harvesting the Sun'' (Biofortification of Iron in Rice to Overcome Hidden Hunger) emphasized his expertise in rice. Prof.Dr.Ir Suwarto, MS who was born in Banyumas on May 5, 1960 is the 47th Professor of UNSOED.
Prof. Warto’s interest in researching rice has actually been going on since 1994. Starting from looking for Upland rice that is tolerant of aluminum poisoning, notrogenous nutrient efficient rice, overcoming the stagnation of paddy rice production, assembling new types of Upland rice using local elders, to optimizing the adaptation of pure strains to the environment for production and high fe rice content are some of the works he made. One of his drivers for iron (Fe) biofortification is that iron is very useful in life. Prof. Suwarto quoted the Qur'anic verse Surah Al-Hadiid: 25 "...And We have created iron in which there is great power and many benefits for mankind...". New superior rice varieties resulting from iron biofortification can not only overcome hidden hunger due to iron malnutrition, but also increase the productivity of marginal lands. This was revealed by Prof. Dr. Ir Suwarto in his inaugural speech. Fe biofortification of rice plants is a cheap, easy and sustainable technology to overcome Fe deficiency that causes anemia. The trial that he applied for was to breed Gilirang Fatmawati IR 64 rice with Cimelati G10 rice. After research and experiments from 2007 to 2010, from dozens of strains, seven pure strains were found that have high rice Fe of more than 20 ppm and high yields of more than eight tons per hectare. In addition, three strains were selected that have rice Fe and the highest production potential of more than 10 tons per hectare, named UNSOED-fe2, Unsoed-e27, and Unsoedfe-37. With Prof. Suwarto's findings, it is possible to solve the hidden hunger problem experienced by many rural communities in Indonesia.
Prof. Dr.Ir Suwarto, MS is an alumnus of the Faculty of Agriculture UNSOED graduated in 1984. He continued his S2 and S3 at Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta. The husband of Ir. Sri Marnani, M.Si, besides actively conducting research, he is also active in community service activities, international seminars, and writing in various journals. The Plant Production Science journal is one of the journals he worked on. This father figure of four children is also actively participating in various activities. Short course activities at Osaka-University-Japan, Training on DUS Test for Trainers in Japan are some of the activities he participated in. Prof.Dr.Ir Suwarto has also obtained IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) for his research, named INPAGO UNSOED-1 Superior Rice and INPAGO JSPG136 Superior Rice. His works do not make him feel great. Just like rice, the plant he loves, Prof.Dr.Ir.Suwarto, MS also uses the science of rice, 'the fuller the lower'. Congratulations Prof.Dr.Ir Suwarto, MS,
Keep going, never give up!