TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), today launched a program to help smallholder farmers in West Kalimantan adopt organic methods of rice production. The program is part of the government plan to create “1,000 organic villages”. The organic village model is one of the national development priorities (Nawacita), which focuses on promoting the economic independence of the main national sectors.
The Director of Food Crops Processing and Marketing at the Ministry of Agriculture, Gatut Sumbogodjati, said: “Organic products have become an alternative food option for Indonesians, although they are not widely consumed yet. ladder. Organic actors currently tend to focus on export markets. The government has supported them with agricultural input facilities, post-harvest facilities and certification.
The program will be operational over two years in the rice-growing villages of Sanggau district, West Kalimantan, where the provincial authorities and local NGOs have identified the farmer groups that will enable communities to adopt and adopt the new farming methods. The FAO supports the shift to organic farming as it emphasizes ecosystem health rather than relying on manufactured agricultural inputs. “The new system reduces potentially harmful environmental and social impacts by eliminating the use of inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and genetically modified varieties,” said FAO Representative in Indonesia, Stephen Rudgard.
The emphasis on the ecosystem approach will produce safe and healthy food. The FAO defines food security as “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.
Program activities focus on the production of rice that can be officially certified organic, based on the use of certified inputs, and the use of processing facilities that link the organic brand to market opportunities. Gatut Sumbogodjati stressed that collaboration with FAO in the organic agriculture program is a priority in the border area, with regard to accessibility to markets, including Malaysia, and government efforts to increase community incomes. border.