Jakarta – A group of fifth graders, who go to the elementary school SDN 2 Cisaat in Sukabumi, recently went on a school trip to Kampung Papisangan to learn more about eco-friendly farming.
In an organic agricultural field that spanned 18,643 meters, the pupils got to learn how to grow plants on polybags and catch a glimpse of oyster mushroom cultivation. They learned about catfish farming and tried to make a liquid organic fertilizer and plant paddies. The fifth graders also tried making goat manure compost.
The organic agricultural field is part of AQUA Mekarsari plant's program to develop agribusiness and agro-tourism in Kampung Papisangan, Caringin village in Sukabumi. This program is in partnership with Negeri Ternak Indonesia.
"AQUA Mekarsari Plant has begun developing an eco-friendly integrated farming system in 2018. Since then, together with our implementing partner, we have tried to change the farmers' farming habits by encouraging the use of organic fertilizers," Beni Satyahadi, the coordinator for the corporate social responsibility program at the AQUA Mekarsari plant, said.
As of 2022, the area of the conventional-turned-to-organic rice field in Kampung Papisangan has spanned 18,643 square meters thanks to the declining use of chemical fertilizer. The AQUA Mekarsari Plant also helps develop the making of liquid organic fertilizers and goat manure compost, as well as the use of weeds and grasses to improve soil fertility.
Today, Kampung Papisangan has become the information center for organic farming. It has also become a place of agribusiness and agritourism, according to Beni.
SDN 2 Cisaat principal Eni Kusrini said that her students had gone on a school trip to this organic field a number of times.
"It aligns with our school program, namely on how students can learn about eco-friendly agriculture from the experts and in the open. Once the students return, they can implement what they learn at school or in their own homes," Eni said.
Kampung Papisangan, which is only two kilometers from the AQUA Mekarsari Plant, has also drawn many students and farmer groups from the Cicurug subdistrict. Not only does the program improve soil fertility, but it also nurtures the young generation's love for agriculture. The tourist visits have also helped boost the locals' income.
"From mothers who only helped with house chores, they have formed a women farmers group who now makes MSME products such as snacks made from veggies, catfish, and mushrooms. Local youth and mothers also become guides to give the visitors information on the activities at Kampung Papisangan," Budi Raharjo, Danone Indonesia agriculture manager who initiated the eco-friendly farming program in Kampung Papisangan, said.