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Indonesian organic farming: reducing dependence on imported pesticides and fertilizers

Using materials available in their surroundings, several farmers in the Nanga Tayap district of West Kalimantan have intensively carried out organic farming over the last two years. This was part of their strategy to reduce their dependence on imported products, such as chemical-based fertilizers and insecticides.

This way, the farmers have produced -by themselves- organic fertilizers and insecticides for their fields.

Local farmer Bambang Riatmojo said he could produce organic fertilizer by mixing chopped wild plants and homemade micro-organism liquid. “Previously, I opened vegetable fields by employing the slash-and-burn method, after which I used chemical fertilizers and insecticides. Now, to open a vegetable field, I have maximized the use of locally made compost and natural insecticides,” Riatmojo told The Jakarta Post.

By using compost and natural insecticides, he said, chilli plants could live longer and have larger crop yields. Chilli plants grown with chemical fertilizer will survive only for some six months, he claims.

“In organic farming, growers must be more patient and clear their plants of pests, such as caterpillars, which can be removed easily by natural methods, including by growing certain plants in their surrounding areas to attract natural predators.”

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