Letter from Lena: Inspiration for better agriculture

Hello everyone

My name is Martalena Damanik and people call me Lena. I am 23 years old and come from Medan, Indonesia.  I am a charming and cheerful girl 😀 and just graduated from Brawijaya University Malang, East Java in Agribusinesses.

Lena receives hands-on experiences during her training to become a field facilitator.
Lena receives hands-on experiences during her training to become a field facilitator.

Currently, I work with Better Rice Initiative or BRIA, a public-private partnership project of German-ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems, as a Field Facilitator. My role is to share and exchange knowledge about safe and best farming practices with farmers in three villages of Sambirejo, Sukamakmur and Sendangrejo in Binjai, North Sumatera.

In the beginning it was quite difficult and I felt nervous. The farmer may have underestimated me and I may not have felt confidence about my skills and knowledge. Fortunately, I have received a lot of opportunities to learn to improve my capacities and skills in various trainings through BRIA. All BRIA field facilitators have participated in a ‘Training of Trainer for BRIA Coordinators’ at Indonesian Centre for Rice Research and regular capacity development trainings where I and other field facilitators learn to strengthen knowledge and skills on specific topics. For example, I learn about good agriculture practices, community development and facilitating skills.

Lena learns about rice cultivation as part of ‘Training of Trainer for BRIA Coordinators’.
Lena learns about rice cultivation as part of ‘Training of Trainer for BRIA Coordinators’.

I am happy with my job. The farmers are becoming welcome and open to green production methods which are introduced during Farmer Field School activities.

Many people want me to quit my job, but I don’t want to. I want to prove that my job is a very good job and I can sustain although my salary is sometimes quite limited for my daily expenses. I want to show to the others that it’s not money that makes people happy.


Agriculture is my choice for my study and career. Farming makes the biggest career in the world. The majority of people especially in Indonesia are farmers. Food we eat is from agriculture production. Without farmers it would be impossible to supply our daily consumption needs.

Because of this job, I feel so thankful to meet good people like my farmers who give me support and time in sharing with me their stories, and teach me more about myself, life, and the field works.

I want to give my time, my soul and my energy for them to become better farmers and make better agriculture. And I want to have them as my parents too because they are old enough to become my parents

Love you agriculture and wish me luck with BRIA project. 😀

Lena

^_^

Lena (right) and her field facilitator colleague Field facilitators of Better Rice Initiative's Farmer Field School take a group photo.

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