Sunday, 16 June 2019 | 11:40 WIB

Agriculture Ministry Continues to Encourage Organic Horticulture in West Sumatra

Organic horticulture farming

WEST SUMATRA, NNC -- The Ministry of Agriculture continues to encourage organic horticulture cultivation. Organic agriculture is able to preserve nature and produce healthy commodities. Besides that, environmentally friendly culture can bring promising income.

As proof of this is Sehati farmer group from Nagari Batu Payuang, Lareh Sago Halaban Sub-district, Limapuluh Kota Regency, West Sumatra. This farmer group has been successfully cultivating organic farming since 2010. It was even listed as one of the drivers of organic farmers in the Limapuluh Kota Regency.

The expertise of the farmer groups is inseparable from the full support of the Food Crop and Horticulture Protection Center (BPTPH), the Office of Agriculture for Food Crops and Horticulture in West Sumatra Province and the Bukittinggi Laboratory of Observation of Pests and Diseases (LPHP) in the application of organic cultivation technology.

"I really appreciate the farmer group Sehati, for its sincerity in implementing organic horticultural cultivation. I also hope that the Agriculture Service will continue to oversee and invite more farmers to implement environmentally friendly cultivation," said Director of Protection Sri Wijayanti Yusuf.

Sri further emphasized that organic farming is aimed at producing healthy products, preserving the environment and improving the welfare of farmers.

Sehati farmer group has 20 members who enjoy the results of their organic business. As a side business, they are currently overwhelmed by the demand for organic fertilizers that they market to the surrounding districts and even to Riau Province.

"By managing 70 cows, our farmer group is able to produce 50 tons of organic fertilizer per month, the basic ingredients are obtained from cow dung. Cow dung reaches 1.5 tons per day," said Dewi, the chairperson.

From these cows they can collect 350 liters of cow urine that they use as an ingredient for making organic fertilizer. In addition, all members of this farmer group have simple biogas processing facilities to convert cow manure into biogas, in their kitchen.

With 1,000 m2 of land owned by this farmer group, the chili plantations are able to get substantial profits. They plant Chili Kopay varieties, which are priced at IDR50,000 per kg.

"We made our own seeds from a good selection of plants. The sale value of chili from an area of 1,000 m2 is IDR83 million, during the 10-month harvest period," continued Dewi.

To utilize the land as optimally as possible, they also plant shallots intercropping among the chili plants. With a capital of 15 kg of seeds, they can produce profits worth IDR14.5 million from shallots in two months.

In addition to planting shallots and chili, the farmer group also grows other vegetables that they have been living for eight years. All the seeds they make themselves from the best selection of plants.

The organic fertilizers they need are produced by themselves from the cattle they have. Likewise with the need for vegetable pesticides, they produce it independently by concocting MOL (Local Micro Organisms) and sufficient shrub and shrub plants available in their yards and gardens.