70 smallholders started planting chilies and eggplants in Central Kalimantan. These activities are a part of the project “Intercropping in Planted Forests”. In most cases, the farmers use spaces between existing planted timber trees for the vegetable farming. Other smallholders plant closer to their houses in order to avoid long distance for maintenance and irrigation. Bevor planting, the farmers took part in intense trainings to learn about organic fertilizers, optimal spacing, preparation of planting beds and irrigation.
For the first planting cycle eggplants and chilies were chosen, as they are relatively easy to maintain and suit to the conditions onsite. In addition, discussions with farmers showed that they wish to plant these vegetables specifically: eggplants are a popular side dish with fish and chicken and chilies are perceived as essential by most Indonesians – Indonesian food is mostly very spicy and the chilies help with conserving food. Planting vegetables themselves, farmers are no longer dependent on purchasing expensive imported vegetables on the market. In the next steps, other vegetable types will be planted as well.