East Aceh, Ekuatorial – After five years of experiment, two farmers of East Aceh district developed environmentally friendly pesticide for their paddies establishing different way of farming.
Jafar, 55 years old farmer of Seulemak Muda village of Nurussalam sub district, and his son of 25 years old, Agusnaini started out their experiment after most of their paddy fields were attacked by red-leaf pests or hama daun merah. The name derived from plant-hoppers eating up paddy plants leaving red-ish rice straws.
Agusnaini, who was also an agriculture student, mixed up leaves, branches and coconut water with other ingredient and resulted to Ditsen, meaning Little Cheap in local language, pesticide cum fertilizer. “We only tested Ditsen pesticide on paddies,” said Agusnaini adding that they only sprayed Ditsen to red-ish rice straws and they would turned back into green color.
He said that almost farmers in his village started using Ditsen to deal with the pest. Words spread out to other villages and he received orders them making him overwhelm to meet their requests. “I can’t fulfill all orders because we’re still making Ditsen manually so its limited production,” he said adding that he is currently testing out organic pesticide for grass.
Though happy to be able to develop eco-friendly pesticides, Jafar was still not content for not being able to produce in larger quantity as they were working manually. “Its production is not maximum, I am not satisfied,” said Jafar adding that they were aiming to distribute Ditsen to wider consumers. Currently, Ditsen pesticide is only available in their workshop so that buyers can see its process and ask the benefits or ingredients used.
Azhari, one of the buyers, said that Ditsen pesticide has good quality and better price compare to chemical pesticide. He said that most of farmers were very dependent on chemical pesticide as they had no knowledge of its negative effects to the soil. But, after they saw the father-son method were working, other farmers started asking questions and wanted to learn more on eco-friendly agriculture.
“Farming is also an art. We have to keep on learning, experimenting and innovating to get better results,” said Agusnaini.
Meanwhile, Jafar said that he hoped the village would be 100 percent applying environmentally-friendly agriculture in the next five years. Ivo Lestari