Farming with Wisdom

Center for Education and Society Development (Pusat Kajian Pendidikan dan Masyarakat, PKPM), one of Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) Local Knowledge Grants 2015/2016 recipients launched in  August 2015, focuses on research and community empowerment, strengthening women’ role, improving the quality of human resources, and policy advocacy. PKPM was established in 2003 based on initiatives from young professors of scientific and academic spirit who want enlightenment, change, transformation, reconstruction and even deconstruction in various fields especially in the sphere of education, research, and community and women empowerment. PKPM has a vision to “Create a better life, Education and Social Development”.

Current research conducted as part of the Local Knowledge grant focuses on the revitalization of local values and role of Keujruen Blang, a traditional institution in Aceh Besar, as a key aspect within Aceh’s agricultural system.  It is an autonomous body within the local government structure.  It is form to help Keuchik (the head village) manage and regulate agriculture fields. This research assesses the importance of Keujruen Blang for the community, and captures the challenges and opportunities faced in order to revitalize this important role.

Initial finding indicates that Keujreun Blang indeed has an important role within the farming system, including to maintain water reserves and remain secure, to implement mutual cooperation, to maintain customs rules, and to mediate arising issues occurring amongst farmers.  The existence of Keujreun Blang in rice farming systems can strengthen social capital and local democracy to achieve food security, and create harmony and peace, which in turn will improve farmers’ welfare. The outcome expected from this research is to bring about a positive awareness response from the local government on the importance of Keujreun Blang and to provide critical input to policy formulation in Aceh in order to increase harmonization, peace, and prosperity of rice farming communities.

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