Urban farming in the new normal era which was initiated by Korindo Foundation alongside the Arpati Farmers Group (Poktan) in RT 08/001, Pengadegan Administrative Village, Pancoran, South Jakarta, has brought results. At least five kilograms of bok choy and water spinach as well as several catfish have been harvested on Tuesday (11/5).
Some of the harvest was sold directly to the surrounding community, while the rest was enjoyed together at a gathering on Eid day.
The development of urban agriculture in Jakarta is not a new program for Korindo. Previously, through Korindo Foundation, the company has developed a Hydroponic Village in a narrow alley also located in Pengadegan Administrative Village.
In its new program, Korindo sought to expand to the outskirts of the Ciliwung River, specifically in RT 08/001, Pengadegan. In addition to hydroponics, Korindo’s Corporate Social Contribution (CSC) program also implemented an aquaponics system, which is an agricultural system that combines hydroponics and aquaculture.
Built in March 2021, the hydroponic and aquaponic installations by Korindo and Arpati Poktan have a capacity of 200 hydroponic planting holes and 1,000 freshwater fish. However, on this first harvest, only some of the capacity has brought results. Meanwhile, the rest is predicted to harvest in the next few weeks.
In carrying out this CSC program, Korindo Foundation also collaborated with Saparno, a resident of RW 001, Pengadegan Administrative Village who has previously been involved in the hydroponic program. In 2015, Saparno had received hydroponic training at Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB) assisted by the Korindo Foundation.
Korindo Foundation collaborated with Saparno to act as a mentor who is responsible for providing assistance and direction for Arpati Poktan in managing hydroponics and aquaponics.
Saparno admitted that there are many challenges during the cultivation period. One of them is the intensity of rain which tends to be high. “Because without a cover, the plants are exposed to rainwater. Meanwhile, rainwater has a high acid content which makes it difficult for hydroponic plants to grow,” said the man who has studied hydroponics since 2015.
However, Saparno said that the enthusiasm from the Arpati Poktan to continue learning about hydroponics and aquaponics was very high. This spirit has resulted in high quality plants and fresh fish during the first harvest.
In the future, Saparno hoped that Korindo can be more active in supporting urban agricultural activities that involve the community. “During the pandemic, many residents are experiencing economic difficulties and a support from Korindo can help them face these difficult times,” he said.
The General Secretary of Korindo Foundation, Seo Jeong Sik said that the development of hydroponics and aquaponics on the Ciliwung River banks could be an example of urban farming for people in other areas. This is because the activity tends to be easy to do with sufficient results to help residents in terms of financial state or meeting food needs independently.
“This is the first step of urban farming development program in the new normal era which also aims to support food security on a community scale,” he concluded. (*)