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Mr. Anuar's Enthusiasm for Implementing a Cheaper and More Environmentally Friendly Agricultural Model

Mr. Anton, a Forest Friend in Perfect Village stopped his motorbike at a house that looked deserted. I was about to get out of the back seat and had just put one foot down when a mother approached. "Mr Anuar isn't there. Going out again. "Look for fish in the rich river," he said.

Mr. Anton and I then got back on our motorbikes and toured Perfect Village, one of the supporting villages of Gunung Palung National Park which is ASRI's partner. We stopped right in the middle of a rice field. Rice fields on the right and left flank the road that leads to a hill, just like the panoramic pictures that children usually make. In Perfect Village, there are around 100 hectares of rice fields owned by residents which are harvested once a year to meet food needs in the village itself.

“Currently, the harvest is only once a year. They dream of harvesting twice a year and making rice a superior crop from there. "So that it can be sold," said Muhammad Yusuf or who is familiarly known as Bang Jili. I spoke with him as the Coordinator of ASRI's Sustainable Agriculture Program via telephone. He was the one who then advised me to meet Mr. Anuar and talk about the organic farming practices that he and the village community run. While we were sweeping our eyes and trying to guess which plot of rice fields had been cultivated organically, Mr. Anuar was seen at the end of the road riding his motorbike and moving towards us. Several stalks of sugar cane were tied to the back seat. "Eh, let's go home," he said.

We turned around and drove back to his house. "Earlier, after picking up sugar cane stalks, I made drinks for the Yasinan pilgrimage event," he explained while inviting us to sit down.

Also read: Inventory of Ferns (Pteridophyta) at ASRI Foundation Reforestation Locations

Mr Anuar is a member of the farmer's group in the village who is 43 years old. He has been farming for decades and has been implementing environmentally friendly organic farming for decades. “I completely don't use chemicals. What is clear is that it is cost effective. Then the effect is felt on the land. "The good is long term," he explained.

Even though he has been practicing it for dozens of years, Mr Anuar feels that he still has very little knowledge, so he is happy with the presence of ASRI's sustainable agriculture program in his village. Since the end of 2022, ASRI has invited farmers in Perfect Village, including Mr. Anuar, to study together on various occasions, from mentoring and sharing agricultural technical knowledge, practices in making organic fertilizers and natural pesticides, to assistance in procuring hand tractors along with training in their use.

“Knowledge is endless! Salute Bang Jili. "It's not just giving theory, but actually accompanied by practice in the field and direct application," he said enthusiastically when telling about the activities with ASRI that he had participated in. After we were satisfied with the conversation, Mr. Anton and I took our leave.

That day turned out not to be the last time I met and talked to Mr. Anuar. ASRI invited and sent Mr. Anuar and 15 other farmers from Perfect Village to take a field trip to Sukadana, the location of ASRI's head office. I imagined the round trip I had to take when I visited Perfect Village the first time I met Mr. Anuar. Five hours in the vehicle, passing through the company's vast palm oil plantation plots and occasionally having to navigate bumpy dirt roads. At some points, the dirt road is semi-wet and slippery, making the driver have to be extra careful and shrewd so that the car doesn't fall off. This time, Mr Anuar and his friends were the ones who had to make the journey. Mr Anuar admitted that it was his first experience visiting Sukadana. Most of his friends had never visited Sukadana before.

For five days, I accompanied the farmers of Perfect Village to visit various plantations and rice fields in the Sedahan Jaya, Mentubang and Tanjung Gunung areas. Mr. Anuar's enthusiasm and enthusiasm were still the same as the last time we spoke. While watching the rice grow abundantly or the abundant chili harvest, he is occasionally seen taking notes seriously in his pocket book or recording on his gadget.

 

Not only learning how to cultivate rice fields and inspecting chili plantations, Mr. Anuar and the other participants were also invited to learn from Mr. Amir, a former tree logger who has switched professions to become a Kelulut honey breeder. They are introduced to other sustainable livelihood alternatives that they can try to improve the economy upon their return to the Village. On the final day of the series of events, guided by Bang Jili and several ASRI employees, the participants were invited to have a dialogue about the things they had learned during the trip and how to apply them according to the conditions in Perfect Village.

Also read: Sustainable Agriculture Supports the Dreams of Mr. Imran and the Perfect Village Community

“So that we don't stop at this activity. It's a shame later. "We need to discuss what we can do next together," said Bang Jili when opening the discussion session. Also present in the discussion were representatives from the Ketapang Regency Agriculture Service. The various parties involved, including the Department of Agriculture, ASRI, and of course the farmers of Perfect Village, are expected to work collectively to increase the productivity of agricultural products in the village.

"We are very grateful to ASRI for taking care of everything, granting our wish for a field trip. "We learned a lot and felt helped," Mr. Anuar expressed his gratitude when we reached the end of the event. We still had time to chat briefly before rushing to tidy up our things and get ready to go home.

"Hopefully it doesn't stop here and can be sustainable," he answered when I asked about his hopes after taking part in the series of field trip activities. ASRI hopes that through various knowledge sharing sessions and sustainable agricultural practices that have been implemented in the village, coupled with field trips to Sukadana, Mr. Anuar and his friends can achieve their dream: rice production increases and becomes a superior product from Perfect Village.