Ibu Kholliqunah is a farmer in Lumajang, East Java in Indonesia. She influencers other farmers in her community to cultivate hybrid corn to increase their income. She expanded her own farm by renting land. She is also actively involved in the Healthy Society Community in the village.
Why do you love your job?
Besides being one of the main sources of income for my family, by farming we not only support ourselves, but also provide food for many others.
How did you get here?
In 1992 I followed my spouse as he grew crops, and I learned much from him as an independent farmer.
What is your advice for young women wanting to contribute to sustainable food and farming?
I would advise young women today to obtain an education in the field of agriculture, and after graduating ask that they return to help develop agriculture in their home villages.
If they can cultivate good demonstration plots this will attract other young women to imitate them. Convincing young women to farm is important, as farming generates a decent income and improves the village’s economy.
I would like to form a Women’s Farmer Group. As women we must be food heroes, for the generations to come.
How does agriculture need to change to be fit for the future?
There are many tools available today that can help farmers to improve the quality of their crops, while also protecting them from threats. For example, using high-quality hybrid seeds, simultaneous cropping patterns to control pests and diseases, and regulating the pattern of plant species – crop rotation – so that the cycle of pests and diseases can be cut off.
What’s one challenge you face as a woman in agriculture and what do you think needs to be done to overcome this?
One of the main challenges today is that people assume women will not be able to become successful farmers. In order to overcome this, do not listen to other people’s words, continue to advance with enthusiasm and stay focused to meet yours and your family’s main needs and goals.
Ibu is just one of many inspirational women working in agriculture. Visit our Female #FoodHeroes page to hear from other women working to improve plant science and nutrition.