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Activity Report (April-May 2018): AMDA Food Program in Malino, Indonesia

Publication date:2018-06-13
By Ahrani Akbar Fachri (Malino, AMDA Indonesia)


At a supermarket in Makassar

In mid-April, I paid a visit to Malino’s Batulapisi district in South Sulawesi to monitor the AMDA Food Program, a program to promote (active) organic farming.  
Before visiting the farm, I dropped by a local supermarket in Makassar, the provincial capital, to do a little research on how AMDA’s organic rice has been sold. One bag of rice was priced at 66,599 IDR (roughly 530 JPY or 4.80 USD) per two kilos.

Ms. Bulaeng’s office

After that, I went to see Ms. Bulaeng, the person in charge of product distribution, to check if the marketing has been properly managed. For now, things seemed to have been going fairly well as a whole.

Measuring the height of the crop


Securing enough space
between the plants

At the AMDA Malino Farm, the farmers have been measuring the height of rice crops and counting the number of the rice tillers every month. Data collection is very important as both factors greatly influence the rice yield for each season. For their reference, the data is compared with that of the previous year.

Organic mustard greens
before harvesting

Tilling the field

Future cabbage patch

Weeding is done whenever needed as weeds disturb the growth of the rice and let rats infest the field. A range of precautionary measures have been introduced to save the plants from rats eating the ears of the rice. For instance, giving enough space between each plant lets the field dry, thereby keeping rats away. Mr. Hage, one of the farmers, said, “If you dry the field for seven days and leave enough space between the plants, they tend to stay out and it’s easier for us to take care of the plants.”

Local farmer Mr. Darwis is cultivating organic mustard greens and they are growing well. The mustard greens were first planted for home consumption but Mr. Darwis is planning to sell them in Makassar in the near future. At the back of his house, there is a yard in which he used to grow beans. The condition of the soil was very good since he never used artificial fertilizers there. This time, he tilled the patch once again to make cabbage. “This place is near the water source. It’s the best location,” he said. Mr. Darwis also plans to grow onions soon.

As I saw more local farmers turning to organic farming, I felt their passion first-hand. They are now growing organic cabbage, red onions and carrots. I sincerely hope the AMDA Food Program helps reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and, at the same time, increase the income of those farmers.



Most of the organic rice plants in Batulapisi started to bear flowers. In order to protect rice plants from pests, the farmers spray a home-made growth enhancer twice a week which also has an insect-repellent effect. (The spray was developed by AMDA Notoro Farm in Japan.)

Affected plants

As of late May, rats seemed to have damaged some of AMDA’s rice crops. It always happens around the time when rice flowers start to bloom, and they mainly eat the plants located in the central part of the field. The dry season is when the number of rats increases the most, intensifying the damage to the crops. Naturally, this affects thetotal harvest.

Most of the farmers in Batulapisi have been planting onions to protect their vegetables and fruits from animals and bugs. The onions will be sold at the market from mid-June this year, and part of the harvested crops will be replanted for the next farming season (as seedlings).

                      Onions soon to be harvested

Besides planting onions and mustard greens, Mr. Hage also cultivates organic peanuts in his yard. He uses cow dung mixed with fuel husks as main fertilizers. Five sacks of them are spread evenly on the land and each of the seedlings is planted with enough space in between (20cm x 25cm). He also sprays cow urine to nourish the plant. “I am always sowing cow dung to the field and constantly weeding to secure better growth”.

                                              Mr. Hage’s peanut fields

As the dry season has arrived, the amount of water for irrigation is reducing. To make up for this, the farmers are alternately pulling water to the rice paddies and vegetable fields.

    •  Organic Farming (Comprehensive Livelihood Support)
    •  Indonesia
    •  2018