Every rainy season, farmers have to deal with rotten plants and diseases which caused them to produce less than usual. This also happened to farmers in Batu, Malang, Indonesia. In months with high levels of rainfall, some of them still plant potatoes – which is known that isn’t best to farm during the rainy days. Meet Supri and Suyono from Batu, Malang, Indonesia, and read their stories about how they plant potatoes in the rainy season:

Potato field in Batu during rainy season

Supri

Supri, 52, has become a farmer for more than 35 years. He farms carrot, potato, and white cabbage. With 2 hectares of land, Supri normally harvests 17-20 tons per one period. The smallest amount of harvest was 8 tons, and the biggest he ever reaped is 25 tons.

Right: Supri

For operational costs, Supri spends around 150 million for water system installation at the beginning, and 95 million yearly operational costs. He admitted that the ever-sitting challenges he faced are the expensive non-subsidized fertilizers, fungicides, and a lot of pesticides to tackle pests and diseases. Meanwhile, the external factor that might happen is the pipe thieves threat.

In the rainy season, the challenges increase: more pests; more diseases; lack of yield workers which makes it not possible to make his own organic fertilizer.

Nearly no technology involved to optimize the farming process. The only technology he uses for his farm is the portable sprinkler for irrigation. He said that it would be good to have a monitoring device and automated irrigation system, considering it’s hard to find farmworkers, especially in the rainy season.

Suyono

Suyono, 45, has been farming for more than 30 years now. He plants potatoes and carrots on his 2-hectare land, and provide 9 to 10 tons. His operational cost per one yield period is around 12 million, which includes the pesticide expense. Same as Supri, Suyono uses non-subsidized fertilizers because they’re more effective and efficient.

Left: Suyono

The problems Suyono has in every rainy season are pests and diseases. Besides, the use of pesticides can double to 2 times a day, with one hour long for every sprinkle. Suyono hasn’t involved technology in his farming practice either, which takes up his time and energy more.

Similar to Supri, Suyono thought that a monitoring system is great to have so he could maintain the land, as well as to prevent pests and plant diseases. Automatic irrigation is on-demand too, because it would help to decrease the uncertain land worker’s needs.

With almost no technology involved, from the simplest thing like selling their crops online until farming facilities, Supri and Suyono thought that it would be good to start applying technology to their farms. As stated by both of them, monitoring systems and automated irrigation engines are the most urgently needed- to optimize their yields first.