Farmer's Stories

Believing Women can do Shrimp Farming, Mrs Saraiyah Leads 40 Women in her Farming Group

8 March 2024
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Mrs. Saraiyah is the leader of a farming community named Kelompok Putri Mandiri, which engages in cultivation activities in shrimp Dusun Lokok Buak Desa Sukadana, North Lombok. All members of her community are women.

Inspired by Sekolah Perempuan

Kelompok Putri Mandiri was initiated by Mrs. Saraiyah. Since 2013, Mrs. Saraiyah, who was once a housewife, joined a community named Sekolah Perempuan (Woman School). This community aims to provide a platform for women from marginalized communities to gather and be equipped with knowledge about gender equality. In this community, Mrs. Saraiyah and other members received social assistance from the government, and Mrs. Saraiyah herself was elected as the district leader in North Lombok.

Feeling the benefits as a part of Sekolah Perempuan, Mrs. Saraiyah was interested in building the same community in her own village. The communities established engage in various fields. Adjusting to the funding she got, Mrs. Saraiyah and her group became involved in shrimp farming to support her family's economy.

Pursued Cultivation through Countless Challenges

With the abundant natural resources in Lombok, especially water resources, and the support provided by the local Marine and Fisheries Service, Mrs. Saraiyah believes that shrimp farming can be a means of empowering women in her village.

Although they faced many challenges along the way, from land conflicts to limited funds, and minimal knowledge of farming and technology, Mrs. Saraiyah continued to pursue shrimp farming. Although the group successfully obtained a budget from the Development Planning Council in 2021, the funds were allocated for farm facilities and equipment, leading Mrs. Saraiyah and her group members continue raising funds for additional capital. Their first stocking was done in April 2022.

During farming, Mrs. Saraiyah and her group have also tried various task divisions. From initially assigning 2 people to each pond, they now use a feeder and siphon. Members also come during stocking, cleaning, or harvesting. As the person in charge, Mrs. Saraiyah is always available at the pond if her members encounter any problems.

Mrs. Saraiyah admits that farming is indeed a difficult task. However, she wants to prove that women can also engage in farming, from preparation to harvest. Although still receiving support in the first year, Mrs. Saraiyah continues to upgrade her knowledge in various ways, consulting with farmers and attending IT classes to improve her technological literacy.

women in aquaculture

During farming, they also faced various problems, such as weather issues, shrimp marketing, and dealing with middlemen. Until now, there were 40 people in their group managing 44 circular ponds with a diameter of 5 m. Mrs. Saraiyah and her group have conducted farming for 11 cycles. Most recently, they stocked 200,000 postlarvae with a stocking density of 400 PL/pond. Mrs. Saraiyah does not target a very high stocking density to reach a shrimp size of 40-50. She also prefers total harvesting over partial harvesting due to better cash flow considerations.

Positive Contributions of Kelompok Putri Mandiri, from Social to Environment Impact

Mrs. Saraiyah explains that the presence of Kelompok Putri Mandiri brings many positive contributions. Besides producing shrimp to be sold to the local market, through her group, she builds social bonding through regular cleaning activities every week and outbound activities every month. They are also involved in various community service and research activities. Their ponds become educational field trip sites for children in local schools. Not only that, their farming waste is processed into plant fertilizers as part of their commitment of sustainable farming.

women in aquaculture

Impact Felt from JALA’s Assistance

So far, Mrs. Saraiyah has received various facility support from the local government. However, since getting to know JALA, her group has felt progress in technical and knowledge aspects. JALA is also involved in group and technical farming activities.

"JALA's presence has been a great help to us. Their team is responsive, they come to see and discuss at least once a week," Mrs. Saraiyah said. "I believe we have to keep up with this modern age, by learning technology and applications. With JALA, we can be helped in this matter."

In the future, she hopes the JALA team can also assist in selling their shrimp, so that her group can sell shrimp at the best prices.

A Message on International Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women's Day on March 8, 2024, Mrs. Saraiyah has a special message for all women out there, especially those involved in aquaculture.


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