Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) continues to assist the community of Sangar sub-village in Kampar Peninsula in improving their economic situation, with the development of new crops that the farmers in the village are able to grow and sell.

Previously, the farmers of the Maju Bersama Farmers’ Group in Sangar focused solely on growing chili, with guidance from RER and long-time RER partner, BIDARA (Bina Sumberdaya Masyarakat).

While chili was rather successful in increasing the farmers’ incomes at first, pests and plant diseases have recently affected production.

“We now see there is a need for pest breakers – plants which help other plants to grow, such as how the pungent odour of ginger plants grown alongside chili plants will help to keep pests away from the chili plants.

“We considered watermelons, yellow cucumbers, luffas and melons, and found melons to be most economical, as melons are not only easy to market, but it is a crop that can be easily harvested after just two months,” said Syaeroji, BIDARA Community Organiser.

First crop of melons grow by farmers from Sangar sub-village with the assistance from RER and BIDARA