The manager of the Poso 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (PLTA ) and Poso 2 Hydro Power Plant, PT Poso Energy, initiated a trial of the use of floating lowland rice technology in former rice fields that were submerged in water in Buyumpondoli Village, Pamona Puselemba District, Poso Regency, Central Sulawesi.
The trial of planting floating paddy rice with seeds of the Superwin variety began in June 2021 on a pilot area of 0.5 acre or 50 square meters using 18 rafts measuring one by three meters each. Harvesting was carried out 115 days after planting.
“This is a demonstration plot or a pilot for farming using the floating rice method. This is our thought that in riparian areas or areas that are inundated, we can still use technology to cultivate crops, one of which is rice cultivation,” explained Agus Syamsi, Environmental, CSR & Forestry Coordinator of PT Poso Energy in this activity. the floating rice harvest, Tuesday (12/10).
Agus explained that from the planting area of half acre, 31.9 kilograms of harvested dry rice (GKP) were obtained. Based on the results of tiling carried out by the Agriculture Office of Poso Regency, it is estimated that if planted in an area of one hectare, the yield with floating rice technology can reach 6.38 tons per hectare, above the Poso district average productivity of 5.4 tons of dry grain. harvest per hectare.
“If farmers are interested in planting the floating rice method on their flooded lands, we will certainly respond to this. We will provide guidance and support, especially early on when they start planting,” said Agus, who promised that his party would provide support for farmers who are interested in implementing the floating rice cultivation model.
Floating rice paddy is an activity of growing rice on a raft made of bamboo that floats on water. The trial of floating rice cultivation was set against the backdrop of a situation where many rice fields around the shores of Lake Poso could no longer be cultivated by farmers since the rising water level of Lake Poso. The high surface of Lake Poso is thought to be the impact of the Poso 1 hydropower dam operation.
Data from the Agriculture Office of Poso Regency (5/10) stated that at least 226 hectares of rice fields were affected.
Floating Rice Field Technology
Samuel Purese, Coordinator of the Pamona Puselemba Agricultural Extension Center, assessed that the future of implementing floating lowland rice technology on the shores of Lake Poso depends on the willingness of farmers to implement it. He admits that it takes hard work from agricultural extension workers to socialize the floating lowland rice technology to farmers who have been planting rice directly on paddy fields for a long time.
“As extension workers, changing it is not as easy as we imagine, because so far, as extension workers, to completely change the existing farmers, it’s not like turning the palm of our hand,” said Samuel Purese.
The Head of Buyumpondoli Village, Karnius Montolu (64 years old), believes that strong efforts are still needed to convince farmers to apply floating rice technology in flooded rice fields. This is mainly due to the hereditary cropping pattern of farmers who are accustomed to cultivating paddy fields by utilizing agricultural machinery, ranging from plowing fields with tractors to using agricultural machinery for harvesting rice.
Karnius Montolu said that there are around 40 hectares of rice fields belonging to 26 families in Buyumpondoli that have been affected by the overflowing lake water since 2018.
“Since Poso Energy has closed the water that comes out, causing the water to rise throughout Pamona Brothers (covering 4 sub-districts) of Lake Poso, more or less – since 2018 until now,” said Karnius, who has served as the head of Buyumpondoli Village since 2018.
In that village, the overflowing lake water soaks the rice fields which are up to 500 meters from the lake shore. [yl/ah]