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Jakarta Post

Farmers use tractors to reduce forest fires

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 1 2016   /  06:56 am

New ways: A farmer prepares his field in a village in Pelalawan, Riau, using a hand tractor. Farmers in the area are being trained to clear their lands without the use of fire to reduce forest fires.(JP/Rizal Harahap)Farmers in the Pelalawan village of Pelalawan, Pangkalan Kerinci, used to employ the slash and burn method when it came to clearing their land for farmland or rice fields.

That approach triggered massive fires as the soil in the village was combustible, especially with peatland at a depth of around 3 to 9 meters. In a bid to reduce cases of forest and peatland fires, local communities are working with pulp and paper producer PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) to develop specific training programs for farmers.

The pulp and paper company also provides the farmers with hand-held tractors to help them leave behind slash and burn practices when clearing land for ...