Wednesday, March 11, 2009


From Malang it took the old almost-without-aircondition bus almost three hours to reach the Dusun. Along the way I saw cute little brick houses parading by the side of the narrow road.

Most houses have genting roofing - a benchmark for Indonesian houses. Those houses without genting roof are considered poorer than the rest of the community.

The houses were cute (they were small to our standard) but most have concrete gutter and beautiful doors.

And, every house had evidence of business activities. In other words, every household was involved in business, no matter how small it is.

It was just fascinating to see how they made use of their resources. Every inch of their scarce land was planted with something, from rice, corn, vegetables and even napier grass.

They were blessed with very fertile volcanic soil. So fertile was their soil that they did not need to use any inorganic fertilizer. They have not inches, but feet of organic layer in their soil.

Finally, we reached the Dusun. There was a goat shed in every single house in the Dusun. The average number of goats owned was fifteen.

They used Calliandra leaves as the main feed source for the goats. Calliandra was grown every where in the Dusun. The trees looked like Leucaena at the first glance, but on closer look it was different.

The leftover branches and stems were used as firewood for cooking.

The goats, Etawah (Indonseian name for Jamnapari) were well reared. The shed was made of bamboos and so practical and there was no odour! They used EM too.

In the Dusun there were 30 houses and the number of goats reared was around 5,000 heads and there were 70,000 goats in the sub-district!

The most important discovery - they don't receive any subsidy from the government and they preferred that way.

When asked what was the contribution of the goats: One farmer said that his house was built with money obtained from selling the goats! He said that a goat for Aqiqah could fetch 2-3 million Rupiahs - a teacher earns less than a million Rupiah a month!

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