Yunita T. Winarto, Universitas Indonesia, James J. Fox, the Australian National University and Rhino Ariefiansyah, Universitas Indonesia
Two Indonesian documentary videos on brown planthopper problems in Indonesia and how farmers are trying to cope with their losses is now available. Produced in Indonesia, they offer a glimpse of the problem in Java.
The videos are produced by the Center for Anthropological Studies, Faculty of Social & Political Sciences, Universitas Indonesia in collaboration with the Academy Professorship Indonesia in Social Sciences & Humanities (KNAW-AIPI) and the Research School of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University.
The first video examines the key factors that have contributed to the current critical infestation of brown planthopper throughout Java, focusing on the persistent, excessive and injudicious use of pesticides. These pesticides might temporarily reduce pest numbers had systematically devastated the pest’s natural enemies and ecosystem services. The film also looks at other factors that have contributed to the present situation, in particular the extended La Ni?a that had prompted farmers to take advantage of the rainy conditions to attempt to plant more than their usual succession of rice crops.
Farmers are featured in this film. It is their voices and their responses that are critical. The film highlights farmers’ observations in their rice fields. These farmer observations are supported by further explanations of the brown planthopper’s biology and ecology by experts in plant protection and research entomology. The film also follows groups of farmers engaged in efforts to develop sustainable local ecosystems by producing biological agents to control the brown planthopper.
The second film examines farmer initiatives to foster better environmental practices. It examines farmers’ efforts in West and East Java to advance their knowledge and to develop sustainable farming through: a) daily rainfall measurement and agro-ecosystem observation. b) organic farming practices, and c) producing the bio-agent, Beauveria bassiana to control brown planthopper as a substitute for chemical pesticides.
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