In this trip, our group is distributed to investigate Magelang which is in the center of Java in Indonesia, then we participate many activities with Indonesia local people and also visit the framing areas. There are huge regions are planted the tobacco, sweet potato and chilis, and for this landscape I felt really amazing, because the agriculture industry is bigger than my imaging.
During the activities, we talked about why Indonesia farmer grow tobacco, then our group also researched many information. Because we are not local, we still do not know something actually, therefore, there is also some local people always near us then help us to deal with many problems. They told us that in fact, the profits for farmer to grow tobacco is really low, because producing cigarette need to proceed many steps, so farmer is the first step to produce the materials then sale them to the next stage which is cutter, then after cutting, the people who in the factory will sale it to the third step, therefore, the profits for farmer will be the lowest. After listening this, we are thought that why the profits are low, they still grow tobacco, then he told us, tobacco will be more easier to grow than other agriculture, and the cost will be low. Actually, after researching, tobacco can adapt to a wide variety of soils and also better in tropical climates, therefore, the climate in Indonesia create a suitable environment for growing tobacco.
Apart from that, before we start interviewing, we also focus on another point is the health of farmers, and we found that because of the profits from tobacco, whatever old or young people, almost them are happy to harvest tobacco, ages between 13-15 years old children are allowed to do “light work” on tobacco plantations during hours when school is not in session, so this child labor also cause serious health problems for kids. Then we also interviewed the local people about this phenomenon, and they said that, this is true, there are many children have healthy problems because tobacco.
From the interviewing, researching and activities, we learned many different things which we didn’t know before, but we thought that the agriculture could be one of main industries in Indonesia, however, because when I went to the villages, the local brought some sweet potato for us to taste, I thought it was really delicious and good, so they might can grow more chilis, sweet potato to instead of tobacco then get more profits. And these agricultures will not hurt their health and also could increase the quality of the food then reduce the tobacco destroy.
Joe. C 2016, “Indonesian Children Face Hazards on Tobacco Farms, Report Says”, The New York Times, viewed on 19 December 2019, <https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/26/world/asia/indonesia-child-labor-tobacco-nicotine-pesticides.html>.
Kate. L 2018, “‘I’ve been sick in the chest’: Tobacco fields take toll on Indonesian children”, Vital Strategiess, The Guardian, viewed on 19 December 2019, <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/26/tobacco-indonesia-child-labour-harvest>.
Tobacco Farming 2019, PROCIGAR 1992, viewed on 19 December 2019, <https://procigar.org/tobacco-farming/>.