Writer: Nurhayati Lubis, Junior Professional Officer for Public Relation, Monitoring and Evaluation, GIZ Indonesia
Hendrik Barkeling, Deputy Head of Mission Director General for Economic Affairs and Global Issues at the German embassy in Jakarta last month visited Farmer Field School (FFS), an initiative developed by Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA) Project that aims to promote sustainable rice farming practice in North Sumatra province.
During an official visit to Krasaan village in Simalungun district, Mr. Barkeling had discussed a wide range of issues covering implementation of the FFS and on-farm and off-farm activities such as a financial access to farming services in making positive changes in the rice sector.
BRIA project, which is now on its second phase, improves rice productivity and sustainable market access among farmers.
At least 9,000 farmers are targeted as direct beneficiaries.
The trip is part of the German embassy’s push to increase dialogue with local farmers, agricultural extensionists and private partners who participant in the project that is supported by German and Indonesian governments.
The trip is also aimed to raise awareness on good agricultural practices among local farmers and make them feel motivated.
One among the participants is Torlina Siagian, 48, a treasurer of Mawar Farmers Groups in Krasaan village who felt thankful for knowledge she has gained from the classes.
“When my rice field was attacked by stemborers and grasshoppers, I could recognize the symptoms right away because I learned about it from the FFS. I was able to take action right away to avoid worse pest outbreaks,” Mrs. Siagian recalled.
While Parulian Sidabutar, the 48-year-old student of the FFS said she planned to wear traditional clothes when the field school’s graduation comes.
“I love learning at the field school and reading the module which is so colorful and has lots of nice pictures. It indeed contains of new information and knowledge. We have nearly finished all the topics.”