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Rimba Raya's Sustainable Peatland Farmer Field School

Central Kalimantan, INDONESIA, Dec 5, 2020 - (ACN Newswire) - In November 2020, Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve (Rimba Raya) conducted training sessions aimed at strengthening the capacity of Farmer Groups (KT). The goal was to help them to improve their skills in cultivation and agriculture through our Peatland Farmer Field School (Peatland-FFS). The sessions were attended by 2 Farmer Groups; Harapan Jaya from Jahitan Village, and Hijau Bakung Permai from Baung Village.

HARAPAN JAYA Farmer Group and the preparation of an area of 0.5 ha, Jahitan Village
HIJAU BAKUNG PERMAI Farmer Group and land preparation covering an area of 17 x 50 meters, Baung village

This activity is a continuation of a Peatland-FFS training program held in September 2020 conducted by Rimba Raya in collaboration with the National Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG). The farmer group from Rimba Raya working area participated at that time. Aside from focusing on improving farming skills, participants were trained in preparing their land for agricultural development without the use of traditional 'slash and burn' methods.

During our most recent training sessions, Rimba Raya encouraged farmers to build on their traditional ecological knowledge with a focus on non-destructive land use and the development of areas according to soil suitability. The efficient production of nutritious food while ensuring forest preservation, was strongly encouraged.

The farmers were taught how to make organic fertilizers and pesticides using organic waste from their immediate environment. "Crop and forest burning actually eliminates beneficial microorganisms and nutrients, as it releases unwanted carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," said Sylviana Andhella, Executive Director of Rimba Raya.

"Land preparation without burning and the use of organic fertilizers for agricultural practices will reduce carbon emissions and support the balance of microorganisms. This is in alignment with our project objective to reduce carbon emissions," Andhella explained.

Additionally, the farmers were empowered to manage their own farmers organization. This included the election of; a chairman, secretary and treasurer by the group members. These positions were then ratified by the local village government.

During the training sessions, farmer groups were asked to develop relationships to encourage cooperation and net-working between other groups around the project area. This allows them to share information, experiences and valuable lessons learned which are beneficial to all farmers.

"I am thankful that Rimba Raya included our farmer group in this initiative. We have learned how to make organic fertilizer and our understanding of horticultural farming techniques has grown. We are eager to develop our farms using these strategies with the hope that we will be more successful so that we can set an example to other community farmers," said Ardiansyah Ardian, head of Hijau Bakung Permai farmer group of Baung Village.

About Rimba Raya

The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve is the largest REDD+ project in the world, protecting nearly 65,000 hectares of peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo and avoiding more than 130 million tons of carbon emissions. Rimba Raya is a living example of an economically viable alternative to deforestation.

Rimba Raya develops livelihood programs in surrounding villages (addressing all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals) to provide education, employment and hope for the future. Rimba Raya is also the world's largest privately-funded orangutan sanctuary, and an InfiniteEARTH Project. Visit https://rimba-raya.com.

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