This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Kompas. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
The tradition of farming, practised for thousands of years by the Dayak people in Central Kalimantan, is coming to an end due to the ban on land burning. In fact, farming is their source of livelihood and cultural identity.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS—The farming tradition practised for thousands of years by the Dayak people in Central Kalimantan is coming to an end due to the ban on clearing fields by burning. Not only weakening food security, the cessation of farming has caused a multidimensional crisis in rural areas.
Kompas conducted special coverage to find out about the local food system in Central Kalimantan and the opportunities and risks of the food estate project which was prepared as a substitute for the ban on farming by burning. The results of the coverage were published in a series of articles.
In addition to observations and interviews with stakeholders in the field from July 15-28, 2022, surveys were conducted in three villages where the food estate project is being expanded, namely Kalumpang (Mantangai District, Kapuas Regency); Pilang (Jabiren Raya District, Pulang Pisau Regency); and Tewai Baru (Sepang District, Gunung Mas Regency). The conditions in these three villages were compared to Blanti Siam Village, Pindih Batu Sub-district, Pulang Pisau, which is the site of the intensification of the food barn project.
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We also usually fight to extinguish fires because if left unchecked, they will damage rubber plantations, as happened in 2015.
Kalumpang, Pilang, and Tewai Baru villages are inhabited by traditional Ngaju Dayak farmers. Meanwhile, Blanti Siam is predominantly populated by transmigrants from Java who began planting rice in this peat area in 1982.