© WWF-Indonesia/Letriana Dewi

Manggetem is the rice harvest season awaited by the Dayak tribe in Central Kalimantan, including in the Katingan area. This practice is undertaken jointly by farmers and members of their families. This togetherness is known as handep haruyung or commonly known as gotong royong.

The Manggetem job is at the end of a series of processes; starting from planting the fields, planting rice seeds (commonly called Manugal), taking care of the crop land and clearing it until it is finally harvested. The community will usually take turns from one sector to another to manugal and manggetem. Work becomes simpler and finishes rapidly.

Almost every day Dayak farmers will come to their fields to clear the fields of wild grass . To repel the rice-eating birds, they stick a long stick of wood which is then draped over a cloth which acts as a repellent. Sometimes, when the sun begins to get hot, the wood is also a pillar for putting tarpaulin as shade for them.

In the Manggetem season, farmers often spend the night in the fields. They built temporary huts of wood with a roof made of thatch or zinc. As temporary living quarters, the huts are also used to store newly harvested rice.

Because rice fields are usually located not far from the forest, farmers sometimes go to the forest to get their daily food source, apart from the fields/gardens’ produce. Of course, the Lanjung, aka the Dayak rattan backpack, is never going to be left behind! This involves equipment for planting, food supplies, and not forgetting the food they get from the forest.

Natural and healthy ecosystems go hand in hand with cultural heritage and local food traditions to conserve diverse food sources and genetic resources, ensuring food security and local livelihoods.

Happy World Food Day 2020!

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