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An Expedition to Revive a Tradition

Monday, 16 November 2020

For over three decades, the tradition of planting upland rice had disappeared in the villages of Samo, Posi-Posi, and Gumira, all located on the outer edges of Halmahera Island in North Maluku. The people of those three villages prefer to buy rice to be consumed as a variation rather than take the effort to grow it themselves. Some left this practice after going to work for a lumber company which cut down forests in their area, and they began using their daily wages to purchase rice. Others initially stopped farming rice to raise funds to rebuild a mosque which had collapsed in their community. The PakaTiva Association, with the support of the EcoNusa Foundation, has been working to revive this tradition, not only for local food self-sufficiency, but also for the purpose of maintaining the forest. Tempo joined the Maluku Expedition, an activity organized by the EcoNusa Foundation, which among other things visited those three areas.
The batumbu padi tradition to separate the rice from its husk in Gumira village, South Halmahera Regency, Morth Maluku. — EcoNusa/Kei Miyamoto. tempo : 169562428292_

EVERY Saturday morning, Fahmi Harun takes his wife, Suhaeba Hasim, and their youngest, a two-year old, to their planting field. They walk about seven kilometers from their home in the residential area of Gumira village to the outer boundary of Halmahera Island in North Maluku. They climb up a hill and then go back down, crossing a large river, and then enter the forest.

Their field is behind a hill located behind their locale. On their three-hec


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