Being an office woman with a big paycheck is not always attractive to some young people today. The proof, there are some young people who are willing to leave a comfortable life financially in order to pursue a personal dream: to be a farmer. What are they looking for?
Siti Soraya Cassandra (29), a graduate of psychology graduate from University of Queensland, Australia, and University of Indonesia, was so enthusiastic when sharing knowledge about gardening to a group of young people on gardening training at Kebun Kumara. His face was bright and looked very happy.
Without feeling uncomfortable, both hands stirred the compost consisting of a mixture of leaves, wood powder, and poultry droppings when explaining how to make compost. Her husband, Dhira Narayana (30), also a graduate of psychology at the University of Indonesia, is busy transporting organic waste to be composted. Like Cassandra who is usually called Sandra, Dhira deftly works.
Training is Sandra’s job, while environmental activist Dhira gets the job of taking care of the garden and research. Kumara Garden Management, where they work in Situ Gintung Island 3, South Tangerang, is done with Sandra’s sister and her husband. Sandra’s sister, Siti Alia Ramadhani is a UI alumnus dentist. Alia’s husband, Rendria Arsyan Labde, graduate of mechanical engineering, also alumnus UI. “We both love farming,” Sandra said.
Kumara Gardens is a training ground. At first not many people know the place. As a result, the income they earn is small. Far compared to the salary Sandra received while working in a company. Her sister is more “lucky” to have a job as a dentist. However, Sandra and Dhira did not complain. They have been determined to be farmers so that, whatever happens, they are ready to face.
In addition to not having a salary, Sandra had to do all the rough work themselves. “Every day have to mop up the office. Not to mention taking care of the garden, cultivating the land for the vegetable garden and cleaning the cage. So, my body so thin, “he said.
Because his body was getting thinner, his mother asked, “Have money to eat baseball?” His mother had time to object when Sandra decided to switch profession from a kinclong office who became farmer.
“Not that I am against the parents, but I see in my family all the office people, baseball there are business. Especially so farmers. Parents may be worried about my future, “Sandra explained.
Conscious parents want to live a stable life, Sandra married first. “When I get married, I am the responsibility of my husband, right, he-he,” he said. Dhira also intends to be a farmer and his parents do not mind.
Learning from farmers
Not only Sandra should convince parents that the choice to be a farmer is good. Andhika Mahardika (30), alumnus of alumnus machine of Diponegoro University, Semarang, also experienced it.
Andhika’s mothers who became teachers actually gave freedom to choose the profession. However, Andhika knows they keep their son’s wishes also become a teacher.
When Andhika finished college, he chose to work in a multinational company with a double-digit salary. However, later he felt uncomfortable. “I’m nervous, then get out of work. In the middle of the search, I joined Indonesia Mengajar, assigned to Aceh. The village gave me pleasure and made me finally choose to be a farmer, “said Andhika.
Before deciding to become a farmer, he thought long enough. “The anxiety was not only me who experienced. Many friends experience it too, “said Andhika.
In 2015, he and Asri Saraswati (29), a graduate of chemical engineering graduated from University of Technology Malaysia; Awaludin F Aryanto, graduate of Civil Engineering Sebelas Maret University Surakarta; and Ari Hendra Lukmana, a graduate of Archeology Department of Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, agreed to tour Java and Bali to visit agricultural centers.
This small group in 2016 established Agradaya in Yogyakarta. The company aims to build villages through cooperation with farmers to implement sustainable development. Andhika then married Asri. Together Awaludin and Ari, they studied directly to the farmers. Awaludin and Ari later retreated to return home.
Just like the founders of Kebun Kumara, Andhika and Asri also experienced many challenges. At the beginning of working as a farmer, Agradaya lost money because of efforts to help farmers to plant brown rice failed. “It is not easy to work with farmers, but it is learning,” said Asri, who is committed to staying in a village that has given comfort.
Although Andhika, Dhira, and Sandra are active in agriculture, their work is different. Agradaya works with farmers, while Kebun Kumara provides education about agriculture in the city.
Seeing the condition of urban society, Dhira and Rhendria, Sandra’s sister-in-law, concluded, gardening in the city should be related to business. “They are not interested in doing if they do not make money,” Dhira said.
In addition to growing awareness of the importance of planting, they will make organic vegetable garden. They want to show that, if you want, young people can become farmers in big cities. (TRI)