Demonstration Plots in Cooperation with Local Farmers in Indonesia

In Brief

The project consisted of a demonstration plot in Randakari Village, Cilegon, Serang, West-Java.

Type of project: Demonstration Plot
Country: Indonesia
Place: Randakari Village, Cilegon, Serang, West-Java
Timespan: 1998/1999
Crops: Peas, tomato, red peppers “among others” [3]
Soil Type: Sandy loam
Number of pitchers: more than 10.000
Parameters discussed: Operability for farmers without intentive training


“The trial was done in conjunction with the implementation of the Social Security Net cooperative program between the Faculty of Agricultural Technology, IPB, and the Center for Calibration, Instrumentation, and Meteorology, LIPI, for the fiscal year of 1998/1999. This area was classified as dry land with E category, duration of rainfall of 4 months, and average annual rainfall of approximately 500 mm. The total field area planted was 2 ha and distributed into several locations owned by several farmers.”1


The addressed problem

“The fields were mostly in the forms of terraces on hilly areas, consisted of dry lands with coconut trees as the main crop. No other crops, either horticultural or cash crops, were grown during the dry season. The lands were almost entirely covered by weeds and bushes. Even most of the coconut trees were not productive at all. During the rainy season only a small parts of the lands could be planted with seasonal vegetable crops such as peas, peppers, etc.”1


The Project

“The total planted pitchers were more than 10,000 pieces.”1

“The water pipes used as the main conduits were ¾ inch PVC pipes, and from each of the pipes water was flown into the pitcher using plastic hose with diameter of 0.5 cm.”1

“Not only the field trial incorporated individual farmers but also small local businesses of agricultural production inputs, cooperatives, ceramic artisans, as well as about 20 IPB students.”1

“The important chore required was that every farmer had to monitor the water inside the Mariotte tube and refilled it when the water was almost empty. Once in a while he had to observe the planted pitchers and made sure that the water inside was at constant level. Other chores were the usual done in traditional farming. The crops planted in this trial among others were peas, tomato, and red pepper.”1

“The farmers owned all the irrigation equipment and harvest yields. It was expected that after harvest the farmers could use a part of their profit for the provision of production inputs for the following planting season. So far two planting seasons were passed through and getting ready for the third season.”1


Optimization of the clay pot manufacturing process and problems

“The making process of those pitchers was the same as that of ordinary ceramic pottery. However, the method used was much different from that shown either in Lombok or Plered-Bandung. The turning raw pitcher by means of foot pedal was not in normal position but inclined forwards away from the operator. That process was a little bit faster but producing different shape of pitcher, i.e., especially the smooth curved shape of its neck.”1

“Since the mixing process was done manually, the conductivity of the pitcher produced unsurprisingly varied from one to another. Even several of them were useless, i.e., either too porous or unable to penetrate water at all. Furthermore, since the production of the pitchers was done in the rainy season, lack of sunny days became a major problem for the initial sun drying of the raw pitchers before burning them inside a furnace. Imperfect process could make some of the pitchers fragile and cracked easily. The bottom part of each pitcher was made watertight by coating it with paint before it was planted into the soil. This was done to prevent downward infiltration due to the high permeability of the soil.”1


Presented Results

“The farmers could instantly operate the pitcher irrigation system without any necessary pre-training.”


1 Budi Indra Setiawan, Dissemination of Pitcher Irrigation System in Dry Lands, Conference presentation at: China International Conference on Dryland and Water-saving Farming; Project: Micro Irrigations, , 21-23 Nov 2000, Bejing, pages 3-4. See the overview and review here.

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