Monday, November 2, 2009

Farmers spend own climate change adaptation fund

Adianto P. Simamora in the Jakarta Post: Frustrated by the government’s inaction, traditional farmers and fishermen have taken initiatives in adapting to extreme weather as an impact of climate change. Farmers in Pati, Central Java, have to set aside one eighth of their income to purchase water to irrigate their paddy fields because they have moved forward their planting time by two months to avoid annual floods in January over the last five years.

“We are forced to use our money to buy water due to the absence of government assistance,” Tanto, a farmer from Batu Rejo village in Sukolilo district in Pati, told a climate forum jointly organized by the Indonesian Civil Society Forum (CSF) and Oxfam on Monday. Tanto said that around 170 farmers in his village collected an average of Rp 92 million each planting season to water 150 hectares of their paddies. The farmers plant paddies twice a year

The forum featured farmers and fishermen from several towns across the country, who shared their efforts to adapt to extreme weather changes believed to be the impacts of the climate change. Farmers from Indramayu in West Java and East Nusa Tenggara said they were also facing depleting water supply and unpredictable weather.

The East Nusa Tenggara farmers said they were struggling to cope with “fake” rains. “Rain usually falls once or twice at the end of October, prompting farmers to plant maize. But unfortunately there was no more rain in the next four weeks, causing the plants to die,” Dominggus Tes, a corn farmer from Nusa village, told the forum….

A cabbage field by Batur lake, Bali, shot by ESCapade, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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