Fight For ‘Gold’ In Our Own Land

07 May 2019

(Picture left) People were making natural pesticide together. (Picture right) Stefanus Kota with his daughter. His passion for helping other farmers make their own land safe and fruitful

Many agricultural technologies are now developing amid the rapid advancement of science. It is not always about using machines and chemical fertilizers, but also simple farming techniques but can produce a better crop than usual.

This good planting technique is always promoted by farmer extension in each village in Haharu sub-district. These are the ones who voluntarily accompany other farmers to share the innovation news, therefore, farmers' crops can thrive and bear fruit. The same thing happened in the village of Praibakul which is popular for its peanut commodities.

In order to reach more farmers, farmer extensions (FE) invite other farmers. These farmers became known as Second Layers (SL) or supporting farmers. Supporting farmers also have the same abilities and knowledge as other FEs.

One of the supporting farmers in Praibakul, Stefanus Kota (31), described his impression in accompanying farmers in his village.

"Initially, when I was invited by Mr. Erastus (FE Praibakul) to become a second layer, I objected," he recalls.

He assumed that most farmers in his village had difficulty accepting new planting techniques. Moreover, the habit of planting with many seeds in one hole has been passed down from generation to generation.

"But after discussing with my FE, I finally decided to accompany the farmer whose house was close to me," he said.

He also started by disseminating good planting methods by making beds and using organic fertilizers. In the meeting, he managed to invite 27 people to learn together. Then after the meeting, 11 of them were willing to apply this technique in their respective gardens.

"Even though there are only 11 people, I am still enthusiastic," he concluded.

He realized currently many farmers who have turned professions become workers in one of the private companies in his village. But he still encouraged other farmers to continue to manage their land.

"If we manage our own land, then we get will be more ‘gold’," he said principled.

The next activity that he facilitated with PS was the manufacture of organic pesticides. The Head of Haharu Sub-District, Hina Ndujurmana (61) who attended appreciated the training.

"This organic pesticide is very good because the ingredients are cheap and easily available in nature," he said.

He also hoped that farmer groups in the village would become stronger and more developed.

Furthermore, he gladly will help legalize farmer groups assisted by villages that were already independent. “Permanent farmers groups and recognized by the village will be easier to find markets for their agricultural products," he explained.

Written by: Samuel K.I.J.U.Ara and Mardiyanti Taramata, Staff of IRED Project Wahana Visi Indonesia

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