The Truth About Organic Farm
Ideally, planting food organically is strongly believed and recommended for safe and nutritious food. However, in this age and time, idealism in farming becomes further away and getting harder to reach. In this post, I will share why is it so hard to plant organically or sustainably in Indonesia? Why is the young generation leaving the agriculture sector?
1. Indonesia’s lack of technology options and skilled farmers
Organic farming requires more attention and details to each plant, as we do not use pesticides and depend on the synergy of every living creatures in nature. Therefore, farmers need vast experience and passion to tend to the plants. However, you can count with your 2 hands the number of farmers that have experiences and passion for plants in this time.
Also, ideally we need to integrate the use of machines and technology to farming so as to eliminate labor intensity and help us save time. Something that is not too easy to do in Indonesia especially when everything needs to be imported and custom-made, which demands a large amount of capital and time.
2. There is a 35 – 50% rate of failure of harvest
When planting in an open-field, pests are often we, farmers are most concerned about. At Blueboots Farm, we make natural pesticide from smelly plants that help us deter unwanted insects that eat and destroy our plants. However, natural pesticide has to be applied to the plants 3 times more that conventional pesticide as it is easily wear off by rain. Therefore, this increases labor cost. And seeing by experience, the pests are getting stronger and more immune to natural pesticide and continue destroying a substantial amount of the crops. Therefore, the harvest they get is much lesser than the effort, energy, money and time to the field.
3. Under valuing of honest food ingredients
Food ingredients in traditional market and supermarket mainly come from big scale and conventional farming. For example, planting 100 Ha of one kind of crop such as pineapple with the use of ready-made fertilizers and pesticide that is easy to apply and gives effective results. This let conventional farmer grow big and sweet pineapple but with much lesser nutrition value. This gives them a massive amount of pineapple that can be sold for a cheaper price due to big quantity.
However, people buy pineapple for the freshness and sweetness in their tongue rather than eating for sufficient daily nutrient intake. Satisfying the tongue rather than our body.
Organic food can costs up to 10 times more the price of conventional food due to the above reasons. Therefore, if not well informed it make sense to buy the cheaper price pineapple. This often times lead to organic farmers selling their produce way cheaper than they should to be competitive and in the end not getting any profit in return.
All in all, this is why I understand when organic farmers do not let their children follow their footsteps and this is why I also understand organic produces are for the people who can afford. However, these obstacles Blueboots faces do not extinguish our passion and vision to break the system and find an effective solution that can help elevate Indonesia’s agriculture. Continue supporting local and organic farmers!
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