Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another Eco-Friendly Farming Neighbour

Hundreds of farmers in Klaten, Central Java, have converted from using chemical fertilizers and pesticides to organic ones.

At present, 75% use the organic fertilizers as part of their farming methods. The reason why they switched over is because chemical fertilizers is expensive and is harmful to people and the environment.

Concerned with the condition, Juwandi (leader of the Tani Mulyo farming group) and a number of community figures worked to develop an eco-friendly but profitable farming practice over the past year by joining the Tani Mulyo farming group. Assisted by bottled water producer Aqua and the Bina Swadaya NGO, they set up a lab last year to conduct tests as well as produce organic fertilizer from cattle and buffalo manure. After conducting tests for almost a year, they implemented the green farming method on seven of 85 hectares of rice fields at the end of last year with a mixed planting system, using 50 percent chemical and 50 percent organic fertilizers. Based on the harvest, production experienced between a 10 and 15 percent drop. A 1,700-square-meter plot using chemical fertilizer produced 0.85 tons of rice with a Rp 6,000-kilogram sale price, while the use of organic fertilizer produced 0.8 tons of rice at the higher Rp 7,000-kilogram sale price. There was not much difference in yield and the concern that the system would create a drop in the production by 30% was not proven so as many as 75% of the 450 farmers, who are grouped in the Tani Mulyo, are expected to apply for the eco-friendly planting pattern on about 85 hectares of their farmland by 2012.

So I say let's support these organic rice farmers by buying their products and eating them! It'll be better to if it's brown rice :) It is the healthier choice ;) Way to go Java!

Tips of the day: Support your local farmers and buy local products to cut down on your carbon footprint.

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