FARMER SCHOOL IN MEKARMANIK, RUMAH ZAKAT’S BUILT VILLAGE

KAB. BANDUNG. Mekarmanik Village, Cimenyan District Bandung Regency is one of Empowered Village built by Rumah Zakat. In this village, Empowered Village Facilitator is conducting Community Empowerment in agriculture, because this area has good potential of paddy field.

Since May 23rd, 2018, Aliyudin Village Facilitator has rolled out the Field School Program of IPM (Integrated Pest Control) which is a school for rice farmers. The program is self-help and involves the FKP3S (LKSA Al Hikmah Banten Social Resource Planning Forum) and the local government. Until now the Field School has been running for 9 meetings from 14 meetings, the number of this meeting is adjusted with the rice growing season.

The learning method used is learning through experience by focusing on adult education methods (andragogy), farmers study with System of Rice Intensification (SRI) directly in the field and practice it in the paddy fields they plant.

“At first the farmers assume that all the insects in the rice field is a pest that it is wrong in making a decision that every planting season always uses toxins regardless of side effects on the environment including on his own health, well this is where we need to educate the farmers so that the plants develop well. Alhamdulilah response from the participants is very good even though for decades they farm it turns out they just know that in agro-ecosystem rice other than insect pests there are also natural enemies of pests that is great in population” said Aliyudin

In each meeting guided by at least 2 guides from the FKP3S team (LKSA Al Hikmah Banten Social Development Planning Forum) who is actually a retired farmer who has been an experienced SLPHT trainer for agricultural officers in Banten and Bogor areas from 1990-1998 in the National Program IPM Bappenas. Even one of the experienced trainers has become a trainer in Bangladesh.

It is expected that after this school the farmers can cultivate healthy plants, able to make periodic observations once a week on the condition of rice agro-ecosystem in his own rice field, understand the elements of agro-ecosystem in interconnectedness between plants, pests, natural enemies of pests, homeland, and weather, distinguish which insect pests and enemies of natural enemies, can make the correct decision whether to use poison or not in their own fields.

“After completion of PHT field schools, farmers will continue to be guided to follow-up activities with farmer studies and materials that have not been studied,” Aliyudin added.

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Dani Suhardi / Lailatul Istikhomah

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