Various efforts have been made to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has been present since 2020. The social restrictions set as a step to break the chain of the spread of COVID-19, on the one hand, have had an impact on the distribution of the community’s food supply. Linearly, this certainly affects people’s consumption needs, meanwhile adequate nutrition and nutrients will help maintain human health during the pandemic period.
The challenge was also felt by farmers in the Peat Care Independent Villages, West Kalimantan. Capacity Building of farmers in managing agricultural land is expected to stimulate initiatives which have double impacts on families: to prepare food security of household and to increase family immunity through nutrition and nutrients from the yard. With the support of the Board of Peat and Mangrove Restoration (BRGM)-United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Gemawan implemented the Development Planning of 30 Home Gardens program for Community Food Security in the Situation of COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to the Director of Gemawan, Laili Khairnur, to overcome the challenges due to social restrictions, it is necessary to have an initiation to build food security from the lowest level, which is household. “Utilizing the yard as a way to build community resilience in accessing food sources will help families to get through this long-standing pandemic,” she said at the Workshop on Building 30 Home Gardens for Community Resilience in the COVID-19 Pandemic Situation at Orchardz Hotel, Gajahmada, Pontianak (15/06).
In addition to building home gardens which are expected to contribute to the family’s nutritional and vitamin intake, this program also aims to increase the community’s capacity to utilize and manage agricultural land in order to be able to increase household income. “In order to support agricultural productivity improvement, the capacity of farmers will be increased in sustainable agricultural activities with non-burning land clearing method,” she added. On that basis, Gemawan involved several experts in this 2-month program.
Non-burning land clearing (PLTB) is a solution to prevent forest and land fires in peat areas which are vulnerable to happen in July every year. “We want the community to be able to utilize the land they own to increase their nutrition and nutrient intake, by maintaining the sustainability of the peatlands,” Muhammad Zuni Irawan, the facilitator of the activity, added.
This one-day activity invited group representatives from five villages coming from Kubu Raya and Mempawah Regencies which became the program implementation areas. The experts involved in the program were also presented as guest speakers to add more insights to the participants. “In Kubu Raya, this program was implemented in Sungai Nipah and Kuala Dua villages. Meanwhile in Mempawah, this program will run in the Wajok Hilir, Jungkat, and Galang Villages,” he explained on the break of the activity.
“In the future, these 30 home gardens are expected to be examples of good practices of non-burning peatland use while still giving benefits for people who live with peat,” he concluded.