On the 30th of July, four people of su-re.co’s team went to Jembrana to meet Ketut Windya and Gusti Cakra, the farmers we are collaborating with on adapting climate change. This one-day trip to the West of Bali was our opportunity to follow up on the results of several climate change solutions implemented by the farmers and su-re.co. Here we go!
Our meeting with Ketut Windya
After an early morning awakening, we took the road together in Takeshi’s car to join Ketut at his place located in the village of Candikusuma. As we were reaching our destination, the sound of a dog barking warmly welcomed us and simultaneously informed Ketut of our presence. After sharing some news, he brought us to the area where he harvests cacao using the bio-digester su-re.co previously designed and provided to him.
He gave us some encouraging feedback about the use of the bio-fertilizer produced by the bio-digester. As a matter of fact, he noticed that the trees fed on bio-fertilizer bore more fruits than they normally do. Therefore, he intends to extend the use of the natural fertilizer to his other cacao trees and is optimistic concerning their yields.
Lastly, we were happy to learn that Ketut uses the biogas produced by the bio-digester to light his place and to cook family meals. Thus the bio-digester system provides an excellent alternative to fossil fuels such as LPG or even worse to wood fire, a severe cause of respiratory diseases.
Our meeting with Cakra
Step one complete! Everybody jumps back in the car to head to our next destination: Cakra’s coffee farm located in Melaya Village. As we got out of the car we turned down the wrong road but Cakra kindly found us and led us to his coffee field.
If there’s one thing to know about Cakra, it’s his sincere love of his work. The way he speaks about his plantation reveals how careful and attentive he is when it comes to farming. As a very hard-working person, he explained to us that he was the only farmer who managed to get good results with the coffee plants, when he transitioned from cacao to coffee along with some other farmers. And it’s no wonder why: he’s always willing to try innovative practices to improve the quality of his hand-made and natural harvest. The example that underlines this best is his current attempt to set up concrete agroforestry experiment in his coffee plantation. As sun exposure mainly entails a higher water consumption, the erosion of the soil and loss of quality, Cakra grows his coffee plants under coconut palms in the shade.
Cakra’s coffee plant shaded by coconut palms
Cakra’s meticulous nature can be found again in the way he harvests his coffee. He picks the ripe coffee cherries one by one to make sure his coffee’s aroma will be as best as possible. Then, he singles out the natural dry process to avoid wasting water; this allows the impregnation of the coffee seed with sugars and other components present in the mucilage. Moreover, saving water seems to be a wise decision as su-re.co’s climate projections indicate that Jembrana will experience a noticeable raise of temperatures and a reduction of rainfall volume. As a result, Cakra’s coffee is unique, hand-made, natural and adaptive to climate change.
However we noticed that Cakra could improve the way he selects the coffee cherries on the plants. Indeed, as the following photo reveals it, he picks many yellow ones which are not ripe enough to express all the intensity of the Arabica coffee’s flavor. Therefore our next objective is perfectly clear: communicating this to him and helping him improve this step in his process!
Cakra showing us the natural dry process
Cakra told us that the use of the bio-fertilizer produced by the bio-digester we provided also showed good results. According to him, it allowed more coffee flowers to bloom on the coffee plants: we are looking forward to tasting his next harvest! Another good point is the fact that he also uses the biogas provided by the bio-digester for cooking his familys meals. We are happy to see that su-re.co biogas project actively participates in reducing the risk of respiratory diseases among the farmers we are collaborating with.
Time to go home
We finally arrived at home and this very good day was already turning into great memories. This trip gave us the opportunity to realize how concrete our action is. That isn’t always an easy task as we spend a lot of time managing it from behind our computer screens. A conclusive journey that allowed us to go back to our goals’ roots. The way Takeshi glowed with happiness undoubtedly showed it!
Written by Antonin Rhodes