In West Kalimantan, Borneo Organic Farming Methods are Reaping Increased Yields, Reforestation is Underway
Health In Harmony's program ASRI has successfully provided 12 organic farm trainings to communities scattered around the perimeter of Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan. One of our early trainees, Pak Maknur, was originally skeptical so he tried organic methods in a rice padi adjacent to a padi using chemical methods. Two of our staff members made a visit to Pak Maknur's rice fields to see first hand. He proudly told of his success: not only were the organic techniques less expensive to implement but the yield doubled!
Last week our conservation team did organic farm and agoforestry training in Pangkalang Jihing -- a 6 hour drive via horrible dirt roads. The 40 attendees were excited, asked numerous questions and took copious notes. The community is eager to eliminate logging and improve their livelihoods. There is also an immediate market since, remarkably, there were no vegetables available to purchase in this or nearby villages. Using locally available ingredients to make compost, insecticides, and fertilizers thrilled the attendees, as traveling to 'town' to purchase chemicals can take at least 5 hours each way. Now they can use materials such as rotten banana stalks, yeast, spices and manure to enrich the same soil rather than using inorganic chemicals or slash and burn methods that destroy rain forest. The enthusiasm of the group was exemplified by two illegal loggers, Mr. Wilham and Mr. Syaifuddin, who were not initially signed up, but after watching the first workshop from the sidelines, joined the second training event. Our efforts are helping loggers see the possibility of alternative income from organic farming. Four more training events are scheduled before the end of December!
And thanks goes to you! Thanks to all of you who have given to the cause. Donations to help bring health care to those in need and to work together with communities to find solutions to save orangutan habitat are greatly appreciated.
P.S. - We have also begun this year's land treatments at the reforestation site where we will put over 20,000 seedlings into the ground. Stay tuned for our next update where we will report on the progress of regrowing a rainforest!
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