Bunyu – PT Pertamina EP (PEP) Bunyu Field succeeded in developing fern root innovation in the Good Fern product, namely fern root-based planting media for hydroponic and organic farming, through the Mantap Betul Program (Fern Root Planting Media for Superior Bunyu Agriculture), a CSR program flagship event carried out by PEP Bunyu Field.
Bunyu Field Senior Manager Andry Sehang explained that indigenous Bunyu residents conducted research and developed fern roots as a planting medium. PEP Bunyu Field supported its work through the CSR program by providing land for hydroponics and offering training to the community on Bunyu Island, North Kalimantan.
We continue to support government programs to create food security on Bunyu Island through the CSR Program called Butani or Bunyu Food Security Mandiri. This program integrates PEP Bunyu Field's CSR programs, namely the Mantap Betul Program, Kentungan Pak Abo Program, Bank Sampah Manise Program, Kelompok Usaha Bersama (KUB) Wanita Usaha Mandiri, dan Kampung Herbal Program," explained Andry.
According to him, the company chose to develop fern root innovation because they considered the fern plant's local potential as an endemic plant widely distributed in the North Kalimantan area. This abundance of raw materials supports the program effectively.
"Apart from that, fern roots are an appropriate alternative to hydroponic and organic planting media, and have high nutrient elements so they can reduce the need for agricultural land and water compared to conventional farming considering the natural conditions in this region," said Andry.
Andry explained that economic savings in water use in conventional farming are up to IDR. 525,000,- for each planting period and fertilizer savings of up to 5 million rupiah.
The fern root innovation has received a simple patent certificate and achieved significant milestones. These include securing First Place for Appropriate Technology (TTG) from the North Kalimantan Provincial Government in 2022 and Third Place at the national level in 2023 from the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration (Kemendes PDTT).
Before the advent of hydroponic and organic farming, Andry mentioned that initially, the Bunyu people showed little interest in agriculture. The success of the Mantap Betul program lies in its ability to increase agricultural knowledge, alter people's mindsets, and change their behaviors, leading to the formation of three groups: the Kelompok Wanita Tani Amanah (KWT), Msakada KWT, and Karang Taruna Karya Muda, which gave birth to the Kelompok Usaha Bersama (KUB) Mekar Jaya.
"Munsih, one of the local heroes within this program, is currently fervently sharing knowledge about hydroponic farming with all group members. He elaborated, 'Initially, our focus was solely on planting shallots. However, through the utilization of fern roots, we successfully expanded our cultivation to include other crops such as cabbage and melons.'"
Meanwhile, PHI Communication Relations & CID Manager Dony Indrawan explained the company's commitment to carrying out innovative CSR programs capable of creating shared value, supporting climate change mitigation, and reducing emissions.
"In the Mantap Betul Program, the management of fern roots weighing 54.24 kg per year through the Good Fern innovation resulted in a reduction of 0.951 tonnes of CO2eq from the community's previous practice of burning fern roots. It also saves 8,250 liters of water and 400 kg of fertilizer per planting period," explained Dony.
According to him, the management of fern roots in this CSR program is a solution to the issue of agricultural land use, limited sources of productive activities for the community, and carbon emissions from burning fern roots. "With this program, we are optimistic that protect the environment, the community will get a source of income, and government programs for food security can be well supported," he concluded.
PT Pertamina EP (PEP) Bunyu Field is part of the Pertamina Regional 3 Upstream Subholding, led by PHI. In carrying out the management of upstream oil and gas operations and businesses by Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, PEP Tarakan Field, with other PHI subsidiaries and affiliates, carries out innovative Corporate Social Responsibility programs in the fields of Economy, Education, Health, Environment, Infrastructure, and Disaster Response to support sustainable community empowerment and achieving Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). PHI's headquarters is in Jakarta. More information about PHI is available at https://phi.pertamina.com.