I was invited by “Dinas Pertanian Tanaman Pangan dan Hortikultura” South Sumatra for “pekarangan” (typical Indonesian home garden) dissemination in Bumi Asih Hotel, Palembang on December 20 and 21, 2011. The first day, with Ir Apandi, a head of Division in South Sumatra Agriculture Agency I have visited Kelurahan Talang Keramat, Musi Banyuasin District. In this village I could see the “pekarangan” intensification program has been proposed by local government of South Sumatra Province. This program supported by South Sumatra Governor, Musi Banyuasin Mayor, Agriculture Agency, Public Works Agency, Education and Culture Agency, etc.  There are three neighborhood units (Rukun Tetangga) has been running for “pekarangan” intensification since February 2011. The “pekarangans” are designed for increasing healthy food production on householder scale in order to gain food security, food safety, and additional income. It’s noted the pekarangan average size c.a. 400 square meter. As agroforestry practical system some commodities are cultivated in these pekarangans are fruit plants, starchy crops, medicinal plants, spicy crops, industrial plants, vegetable crops, ornamental plants, and miscellaneous e.g. trees for fuel wood, hedging, shading, Nitrogen fixation, forages, etc. Almost in each pekarangan, the householder also has been practicing agrosilvofishery with provide fishpond, and agrosilvopasture with nursing some poultry and cattle.  According to interview result with Ibu Atun, a leader of Kelompok Wanita Tani (KWT), from total 600 square meter site (house building and pekarangan), almost every day she gets pekarangan plant product for their family subsistence consumption, such as fruits, vegetables, spice, herbs, etc. She sells the remained products to “tengkulak”, then she gained about IDR 60,000 monthly. Furthermore, she sells chickens, eggs, goats, ducks, periodically.

The second day, December 21, 2011 from 08:30 until 12:00 I gave extension regarding additional income generating  from pekarangan optimality in Bumi Asih Hotel, Palembang. This forum was attended by representative of 15 Kabupaten/Kota in South Sumatera Province. They are Ibu-ibu PKK, leader of KWT, Bhayangkari, PUSRI representative, Pertamina Representative. All participants were enthusiasm following the pekarangan extension and discussion during 3.5 hours.  I just would like to give them inspiration, how pekarangan with agroforestry system, which is located in surrounding our housebuilding can give landscape services for the owner. For instance healthy food production, additional income for householder, indigenous agro-biodiversity conservation, water retention management, Carbon sequestration, landscape amenity and beautification. Module of pekarangan (Hadi Susilo Arifin) can be accessed by CLICK RIGHT HERE.

In the afternoon, there was courtesy call from Ir. Hj. Nelly Rasdiana, M.Si, a chair of  Agriculture and Horticulture Agency, South Sumatra Province and Ekowati Retnaningsih, Ph.D., a chair of Research and Development Board, Provincial Government of South Sumatra.  They eager to promote “pekarangan” as a medium for family food security. Therefore, pekarangan campaign should be held whether in rural, or sub-urban, or urban areas.

Hadi Susilo Arifin

Kindly click “Traveling in Palembang” Album, please…