Batangtoru, 21 March 2023 – PT Agincourt Resources (PTAR) with the Department of Agriculture of South Tapanuli, the Agricultural Counselling Centre (Balai Penyuluh Pertanian) of Batangtoru, assisted farmers, and relevant stakeholders, carried out the first harvest of a variety test of organic Siporang rice seeds in the rice field area of Aek Pahu Farmer Group, Napa Village, Batangtoru Subdistrict, Monday (20/3). The yield of this first harvest is 5.2 tonnes/ha.
The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia verified Siporang, a superior rice seed originating from South Tapanuli District, and granted it Certification of Plant Variety Registration. The Head of District of South Tapanuli, Dolly Putra Parlindungan Pasaribu, handed over the certification to PTAR in June 2022.
“In the future, we set the target of a figure of 5.6 to 5.8 tonnes/ha for each harvest, twice per year, with this organic system,” said Rohani Simbolon, the Community Development Manager of PTAR.
For this program, PTAR gives support in the form of plant production facilities, starting from compost, liquid fertilizer for organic cultivation, chemical fertilizer and pesticides for conventional cultivation, and capacity building and accompaniment from the beginning of the cultivation until the harvest with the BPP of Batangtoru.
PTAR not only developed Siporang rice seeds in the Aek Pahu Farmer Group of Napa Village, but it also utilized a conventional method and partnered with the Permata Hijau Farmer Group of Sipenggeng Village.
“This program is a form of our commitment to improving the quality of the agricultural sector in South Tapanuli District so that it can also directly improve the local economy around the Martabe Gold Mine area, in addition to supporting the Head of District’s efforts to develop local rice seeds,” Rohani said.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture of South Tapanuli, Muhammad Taufik Batubara, said, this Siporang rice harvest in Batangtoru Subdistrict is an important moment, because endemically, Siporang seeds grow in the Sipirok area that has an altitude above 800 masl, while the Batangtoru area is lowland.
“It means, Siporang seeds can be cultivated not only in the highlands. This opens the possibility to develop Siporang in another area,” Taufik explained.
Then, Taufik disclosed, the development of Siporang rice seeds is in line with the Head of District’s visions in the agricultural sector, namely agricultural development through the strengthening of local wisdom in respective subdistricts.
“We would like to thank PTAR which has collaborated a lot with the government in strengthening the agricultural sector, and has established many innovative and educative programs around the directly affected villages,” Taufik concluded.