Farming for Life: The DedicatED FARMERS OF PINRANG


Abdul Waris Mawardi comes from a multigenerational shrimp farming family in Indonesia.
He learned shrimp farming from his parents, who were also dedicated shrimp farmers.

Waris learned early on that farming was more than just a job; it was a way of life.

Together with his wife, Anugrah Akib, Pak Waris cultivates black tiger shrimp on his farm in Pinrang, Indonesia. In addition to running their shrimp farm, both Waris and his wife, Anugrah, hold full-time positions; Waris works for a public health facility, while Anugrah works as an elementary school teacher. They practice polyculture farming with both shrimp and snapper. While some may view this as risky due to the potential for snapper to consume the shrimp, it can be successfully achieved.

Pak Waris and Ibu Anugrah’s shrimp farming expertise and careful observation of their pond’s dynamics yielded insights into the interdependence of various organisms. They observed how introducing snapper to their pond helped both shrimp and snapper thrive as the snapper hunted for tilapia, which otherwise impeded shrimp growth. This has been researched on their farm and the study has also revealed the beneficial effects of the production of slime by snapper in the reduction of shrimp diseases.
Pak Waris has faced various challenges in shrimp farming, including limited shrimp stock, disease management, and fluctuating market prices. However, Pak Waris has remained resilient and resourceful, finding ways to work around these problems. Over the years, he has experimented with different techniques and technologies to improve his shrimp cultivation methods. He has learned how to manage water quality and oxygen levels in his ponds and has invested in adapting environmental and social and gender standards for better shrimp farming operations.

The Changing Perceptions of Women in Farming

In the past, it was socially unacceptable for a husband to allow his wife to work on a farm, but recent attitudes have evolved to allow women to participate. Women can now assist with chores such as sorting and selling products, although labor-intensive duties are still primarily reserved for men. In some cases, it is also socially acceptable for women to work alone on a farm. Although significant progress has been made, there is still much to be accomplished in promoting gender equity.

Individuals like Pak Waris and Ibu Anugrah are actively contributing to this effort by joining local groups that promote sustainable shrimp farming in their community. These groups work to encourage more women to participate in aquaculture, and are advocating for initiatives that support women’s involvement in the industry.

For Pak Waris and Ibu Anugrah, shrimp farming is not only a business but a way to provide for their family and carry on their family's legacy. They hope that through their continued work, they can inspire the next generation of shrimp farmers to follow in their footsteps and continue to cultivate safe, healthy, and sustainable seafood.

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