Farmers in Indonesia’s North Sumatra used to suffer from low productivity and lacked knowledge about fertilizer use, as well as responsible ways of protecting their crops. In addition, farmers were also putting their health at risk due to poor understanding of the use of personal protection when applying crop protection products.
To solve these problems, CropLife Indonesia joined with AMARTA to implement farmer training programs on Good Agricultural Practices and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in North Sumatra. AMARTA is a three-year project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist the Government of Indonesia in developing a strong agribusiness sector, raising productivity and the quality of high-value export crops. In 2008, the program benefited 650 farmers in the Karo Regency, up from 625 a year earlier.
In these programs, farmers have learnt how to use crop protection products judiciously, thereby improving food safety, minimizing risks to human health and reducing negative impacts on the environment. In addition, once farmers learnt how to use the right amount of pesticides on their crops, they were able to reduce their expenditure on crop protection products. This not only translated into higher productivity and profitability for the farmers, but also meant that they were able to earn quality certificates and labels for their produce.
Dharta Sitepu and Delna Tarigan, a couple in their 40s, live in Seberaya in North Sumatra. Through plant science, teamwork, and dedication, their 0.75-hectare farm not only supports their family, but also serves as a vehicle to a better future. The couple grows coffee, green beans, rice and eggplant, with Sitepu splitting his time to run a small barbershop in the village.
The couple hopes to earn more money to expand their farm and grow other crops such as peppers and cloves. With higher incomes, they are also aiming to put their three children through higher education.
In these programs, farmers have learnt how to use crop protection products judiciously, thereby improving food safety, minimizing risks to human health and reducing negative impacts on the environment.
Access to effective crop protection products provides an efficient way to safeguard the yields the couple rely on. And thanks to training on the responsible use of pesticides offered by the CropLife Indonesia-AMARTA partnership, they now know how to use them to get the most out of their crops.
Visit www.croplifeasia.org to learn more about their work towards sustainable agriculture across the Asia Pacific region.