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Activity Report (Late August-Early October 2018): AMDA Food Program in Malino, Indonesia

Publication date:2018-10-31
By Ahrani Akbar Fachri (Malino, AMDA Indonesia)

In this article, we bring you the latest updates on organic farming at AMDA Malino Farm in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

While Japan has been fully embracing autumn, Malino is now going through the dry season in which the farmers have just finished harvesting rice and are busy preparing for the next farming season. It is around this time of the year when the farmers make compost and fertilizers while packing their agricultural produce to be distributed to the local and nearby markets.

Late August

AMDA farmers cultivated a clop of land by using a hoe to remove weeds and spread the mixture of chaff charcoal and compost over the soil. Mr. Jamal, a local farmer, said he usually mixes the chaff charcoal and compost in 2:1 ratio (10kg: 5kg). After the yard is neatly plowed and set, the farmers are ready to plant lettuce, tomato and leek seedlings.

Left: Plowing the field  Right: Charcoal chaff

Meanwhile, the harvested rice is polished at a nearby rice-milling facility. Bearing in mind that the facility also accepts non-organic rice from various farmers, AMDA rice producers pay extra attention to avoid their organic produce to get mixed up with non-organic ones. Cracked or damaged grains are carefully removed by hand so as not to spoil the total quality.
Left: Drying the rice stalks  Right: Removing the damaged rice grains

Packing the rice

Farmers’ meeting and rice tasting session

Time to time, the farmers hold a meeting to discuss the pricing of their agricultural produce as well as better practices and methods to improve their agricultural skills.

One issue with which they have been faced is a problem pertaining to the so-called “fair trade”. In Malino, their agricultural produce is not sold at a fair price which eventually affects their morale as food producers. And this is why the Malino farmers are looking into marketing their merchandise into big cities such as Makassar, where consumers are more conscious about what they eat. It is also hoped that selling their produce to appropriate buyers uplifts their spirits.

This year, the farmers organized a rice-tasting session to assess the quality of rice they produced. It was aimed at making use of its outcome and data for the next farming season, not to mention in hopes to produce better crops. For this session, seven electric rice cookers and two rice cooking pans were prepared. The evaluation was based on five criteria, namely, taste, looks, stickiness, hardness and fragrance, from which the final result were drawn. To keep it fair, it was held in a “blind-tasting” style, without disclosing who made which rice.

September – Early October

Another thing to prepare during this rice-cropping-off season is a home-made organic disinfectant spray. To make this, the farmers hang the rice porridge from a bamboo tree to let it ferment in a container. The farmers also grow beans, tomatoes and chili during this time as well.

Left: Making porridge for the spray Right: Hanging the container from a bamboo tree

Meanwhile, it was reported that a monthly sales of AMDA organic rice in Makassar marked 72 kilograms following the distribution that began recently. In Maros located in the suburb of the city, it was learned that many of its consumers are researchers and doctors, probably due to the fact that there is a government-run agricultural research institute in the area.

In Makassar, some of its repeat customers include local students as well as staff at the Japanese consulate. Ms. Monica who works at the consulate said AMDA rice tasted much like what she had in a Japanese sushi restaurant.

There are still more than 600 kilograms of rice to be sold, but AMDA Malino Farm will continue making efforts to market its proud produce.
    •  Organic Farming (Comprehensive Livelihood Support)
    •  Indonesia
    •  2018
    •  Mid-Long Term Project
    •  GPSP