The Jakarta Post
Farmers in Nanga Tayap district, Ketapang regency, West Kalimantan, have intensively carried out organic farming over the last two years as part of their efforts to reduce their dependence on imported products, such as chemical-based fertilizers and insecticides.
Using materials available in their surroundings, the farmers have produced by themselves organic fertilizers and insecticides for their fields.
Bambang Riatmojo, 34, a farmer from Lembah Hijau 2 village, said he could produce organic fertilizer by mixing chopped wild plants and homemade micro-organism liquid.
“Previously, I opened vegetable fields by employing the slash-and-burn method, after which I used chemical fertilizers and insecticides. Now, to open a vegetable field, I have maximized the use of locally made compost and natural insecticides,” Riatmojo told The Jakarta Post.
By using compost and natural insecticides, he said, chili plants could live longer and have crop yields. Chili plants grown with chemical fertilizer could survive only around six months, he added.
“In organic farming, farmers must be more patient and clear their plants of pests, such as caterpillars, which can be removed easily by natural methods, including by growing certain plants in their surrounding areas to attract natural predators,” said Riatmojo.
Zukri Saad, the national stakeholder engagement division head of Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, said farmers in eight villages in Nanga Tayap had participated in organic farming training provided by the company to improve their capacity and productivity.
“It is hoped they will no longer depend on imported fertilizers and insecticides,” said Zukri. (ebf)
Free from chemicals: Farmers in Lembah Hijau 2 village in Nanga Tayap district, Ketapang regency, West Kalimantan, use compost and chemical-free insecticides for their crop fields. (JP/Severianus Endi)