CLIMATE FIELD SCHOOL (CFS) FOR FARMERS AND STUDENTS: ADAPTATION STRATEGIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE WITH EDUCATION AND EMPOWERMENT
Global warming leads to climate uncertainty that threats national food security, and thus the farmer education is required as an adaptation and mitigation strategy to cope with the negative impact. A climate field school is a technology to educate and empower farmers to increase the awareness and resilience on climate change. 0.5 hectare of farmland was cultivated by maize (hybrid variety of Pioneer-35). The land preparation, planting, and crop maintenance was totally organized by 24 farmers and 6 students of Universitas Sebelas Maret, (UNS) Indonesia. Also, daily weather components (air temperatures, rainfall, and relative air humidity) were observed by farmers according to a schedule prepared by farmers. Every decadal (10 days), farmers and students met to observe and discuss the maize’s growth and farm ecosystem. During the decadal meeting, staffs from Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics of the Republic of Indonesia (BMKG), lecturers from university (UNS) and farm extension workers from government monitored, guided and advised the discussion in turn (according to planned schedule). The results showed that farmers and students’ knowledge on climate change and eco-friendly farming system increase during the climate field school. Extreme rainfall (890 mm for 5 dry months) occurred which was double compared to proper water requirement for maize. Maize’s yield was 10% lower (10.7 t/ha) compared to the conventional system due to totally unused of pesticide, herbicide or other plant protection chemical substances. Farmers also observed that the use of organic fertilizer combined with inorganic fertilizer rather produced high yield which can reduce production cost and increase soil health, as well as food safety.
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