Peatlands in South Sumatra will be used for agriculture and plantations

gambut_2 Peatland Illustration. Photo by: Indonesia Wetland

Source: Kumparan (Urban ID)
Date: February 7, 2022

URBAN ID - The Provincial Government of South Sumatra (Sumsel) will use peatland as agricultural and plantation land, because peatland in South Sumatra is the second largest on the island of Sumatra with an area of 25 to 35 percent of the total area of South Sumatra which reaches 9 million hectares.

Deputy Governor of South Sumatra (Sumsel), Mawardi Yahya, said that this peat management effort really needs to be done so that this peatland can be economically beneficial for the community.

However, the management of peatlands requires careful planning, so that the community understands its management very well, especially in some areas in South Sumatra where there are ups and downs.

"We need a study about plants that are suitable for this land. Don't wait until later when the water is high, the plants will sink and be damaged which will certainly harm the farmers," Mawardi said when meeting the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) team.

Therefore, Mawardi asked ICRAF to conduct research to determine plants that have great potential to be planted on these peatlands. So that it has an impact and has long-term benefits as a pilot in some of the land areas.

"If it works, of course, the community will take advantage of it, because most people, in general, want to see examples of its success first," he said.
Deputy Governor Mawardi Yahya and the ICRAF team discussed the implementation of the sustainable Landscape for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods (Land4Live) project.

This project has the main focus on reducing deforestation, improving land conditions, and also increasing carbon sequestration in three provinces in Indonesia, namely South Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and also NTT.

The project also aims to increase economic and climate resilience, livelihoods, and food security for poor and vulnerable women and men farmers as well as in the small business sector, in particular paying attention to women entrepreneurs.

The project directly targets hazardous land-use change in collaboration with smallholders in efforts to reduce deforestation and peatland reclaim while reducing climate vulnerability and improving livelihoods.

On implementing the project in an effort to promote nature-based solutions through climate-smart agriculture and comprehensive land and water management.

South Sumatra itself is one of three provinces where the project will be carried out. Where in South Sumatra itself, the focus will be on two areas, namely Banyuasin Regency and Musi Banyuasin Regency.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Country Coordinator, Sonya Dewi, explained that the project is to find solutions to improve the lives of farmers and the environment. This means that even if the management is carried out, the environment will still be well maintained.

"We are trying to find ways for people to survive by managing agricultural land but with a natural quality that is maintained. This includes managing it," said Sonya.

He said his party would cooperate with farmers to increase the agricultural capacity. "Including the matter of the potential of peatlands for agriculture, what kind of market is it. So that food security is maintained and the community's economy increases," he said.

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