Since starting with the visit of several youths from Bantaeng Regency to the village of Salassae to learn about natural agriculture, natural agriculture has now gained its status as a sustainable agricultural system for the realization of food sovereignty in Bantaeng Regency. As a movement led by young people, the development of natural agriculture has received support from policy makers in Bantaeng. At its peak, the Regent of Bantaeng H. Ilham Syah Azikin appreciated the initiative of young people who are members of the Butta Toa Natural Farmers Union (SPA Butta Toa) in the natural rice harvest event in Rappoa Village, Bantaeng in 2018. With the strong grip of the agricultural industry and food corporations, the agricultural sector is increasingly being abandoned by the younger generation due to the loss of youth’s livelihood from farming activities.
As an effort to continue the journey of the natural agriculture movement, SPA Butta Toa held a congress entitled Berunding III SPA Butta Toa “strengthening the spirit for the glory of the institution” which was held at the natural agriculture hall of Kaloling village on 19-20 June 2021. This event was attended by administrators, assistants , delegates from 10 natural farmer groups (KTA) in Bantaeng, and partners in the rural women’s movement who have consistently fought together, namely KPP Butta Toa. Also attending this event were policy makers in Bantaeng Regency including the Head of the Food Security Service, Head of the Youth and Sports Office, the President Director of PDAM, and the Head of Kaloling Village as the host.
In his speech, Mr. Faizal as the Head of the Youth and Sports Service expressed his appreciation for the natural agricultural movement built by SPA Butta Toa. This movement has proven to be a pioneer in changing the agricultural system that is environmentally friendly and relevant to solving problems in the agricultural sector in Bantaeng, especially with the increasing incidence of fertilizer scarcity for farmers.
The same appreciation was also conveyed by Mrs. Rahmaniar as the Head of the Food Security Service. As long as he has known and been involved in SPA Butta Toa activities since 2017 or since serving as Head of the Agriculture Service, he has seen the consistency and independence of young people to build this movement. One of these attitudes is evidenced by the testimony of Mrs. Rahmaniar who has never seen SPA Butta Toa submit funding and program proposals to the Regional Government but is still able to develop its organization well until now.
During the Covid19 pandemic, the natural agricultural movement at SPA Butta Toa also did not become slower but instead became faster. Citing the accountability report of the missionary management submitted by Sujarman, the management has carried out up to 26 activities, both organizational development, expansion of natural farming practices, and policy advocacy activities as well as networking.
At the end of the event, Negotiation 3 carried out the leadership regeneration mechanism very nicely and Sakir, a farmer from Biangloe village, was elected as chairman of the Butta Toa SPA for the period 2020 to 2023. The natural agriculture movement was immediately continued by the elected chairman by setting the composition of the central board and continuing the meeting formation team to build a strong organizational foundation.
Red: Yayasan Bina Desa congratulates Sakir for being elected chairman of SPA Butta Toa. Bina Desa also expressed its gratitude to the board members of SPA Butta Toa who have worked hard and contributed to strengthening natural farming practices in Bantaeng Regency. -Mcu