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2019 AMDA Malino Farm Activity Report

Publication date:2020-05-07
 
*We have just received an annual activity report on 2019 AMDA Malino Food Program from its implementing chapter AMDA Indonesia.
By Prof. Agnes Rampisela (AMDA Indonesia)
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In an attempt to have organic farming take root in Asian countries, AMDA has been running AMDA Food Program since 2014. The program was originally prompted by an Indonesian trainee who studied organic farming in Okayama, Japan. Ms. Ikawati, who hails from Malino Village in South Sulawesi, spent a few months as a trainee at AMDA Notoro Farm in Shinjo Village in the north of Okayama.

Bringing back the expertise to her native Indonesia, at first there was no one other than herself to practice organic farming in the village. As years went by, her effort and aspiration began to bear fruit: now a total of 14 farmers have been growing crops organically in the village.

In addition to white rice and vegetables, the farmers have started making traditional red rice since 2019. The red rice seems to have gained a well-deserved evaluation in the city area where people are more conscious about pursuing a healthy diet.

 

“Gotong Royong”: A spirit of mutual assistance deeply rooted in an Indonesian village society

Often, the villagers in Malino get together to work on various tasks or issues with which they’ve been faced, such as how to measure rice crops or how to control pests. What underlies their empathetic mind-set is the spirit of “Gotong Royong” which literally means mutual assistance. It perfectly conforms to AMDA’s motto “Sogo-Fujo” which is also a traditional Japanese value encompassing reciprocal assistance.

 

Planting red rice since 2019:

After conducting market and consumer surveys, the farmers came up with an idea of planting traditional red rice in January 2019. There seems to have been an obvious demand for organic red rice in urban communities although it is more expensive than conventional organically-grown white rice. Selling out all that were marketed in 2019 proved its high product potential among health-savvy city dwellers. It is for this reason that the surge in its popularity is easily foreseeable.

    Farmers sampling the harvested rice to estimate the yield

    
 

The voices of Malino farmers:

Kadir (66)

Kadir, a 66-year-old Malino native, has been making red rice as well as kale and other organic vegetables. As all of his produce are organically grown, he is very keen at protecting his crops from pests and diseases using his homemade pesticide. He says pests are not just about bugs but also wild pigs and other animals that damage the crops.

AMDA’s scheme to temporarily purchase harvested rice from farmers has greatly helped them maintain their business and income. Kadir, too, is one such farmer that benefits from it.

  

The “pest”

Natural pesticide in the making

  

 

Sania (29)

29-year-old Sania is among the younger generation of farmers in Malino, who makes vegetables such as lettuce, mustard greens, chilies and shallots other than red rice. The farmers in the village used to make vegetables for home consumption in their home yard. However, as they started to apply organic farming skills in growing them, now the vegetables have become an important source of income.

The crops which farmers make range from red onions, carrots to peas, all of which are cultivated during the months of July to November that are in the late stages of rice harvest.

  

Lettuce

Red onions

Carrots

 


Market response:

The organic white rice which was sold prior to the red rice received a very good reputation. In Maros in the suburb of Makassar, a lot of people who bought the white rice were those who worked for a public agricultural research facility such as scholars and doctors. Local college students and Japanese consulate staff were regular customers as well. A woman who works for the consulate said the rice tasted exactly the same as what she had at a local sushi restaurant.

The consumer reaction to the red rice is still being surveyed, however, the Malino farmers have been confident after learning that all of the rice was sold out. While AMDA Malino Farm is expected to grow further in 2020, the program is hoped to pave the way for organic agriculture in the Southeast Asian region.
  

Organic white rice

Organic red rice


The full report can be downloaded from here.
 

    •  Indonesia
    •  2020
    •  Mid-Long Term Project

 
 
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