The Javanese Farmer’s Calendar System which is in danger of being lost

Triyanto, a farmer in Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, has been based on the agricultural calendar for decades, which is known as provision of prey. This is a climate recording system like a calendar, which is used as a guide for when to plant rice and when to plant other types of crops.

Triyanto, farmer in Sleman district, Yogyakarta (private dock).

Triyanto, farmer in Sleman district, Yogyakarta (private dock).

According to prey officials, the rain should have arrived at the end of October. But climate change is slowly throwing off those guidelines. The condition is made worse by the boy which hit Indonesia, which means that rain in general has not come, at least until this week.

In the provisions of the victim, the end of October this goes in the fifth season or the fifth season.

“Usually, the fifth season Finally, we have started sowing seeds for the rice program. Because there hasn’t been any rain, we don’t dare to sow seeds yet. “So later the planting season is usually in kanem or in November, it looks like the rice planting season is behind,” said Triyanto to KILAT NUSANTARA.

In the provisions of the victim, the fifth season or mangakala takes place October 14 to November 9. The guideline is the most famous gold shower in the world or a shower of gold showers the world. It is marked by the start of heavy rain, the Tamarind tree begins to grow young leaves, caterpillars begin to appear, moths come out of their burrows, lempuyang and key cucumbers begin to sprout. Farmers should repair ditches, make water flowing at the edge of the rice fields, and start spreading upland rice.

Triyanto is sure, provision of prey It can still be used as a guide, only farmers have to make adjustments. What is written in it is compared with weather information from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). Like now, the fifth prey or fifth season should already have a lot of water from the rain, in fact the rice fields are still completely dry.

“When I was little, provision of prey appropriate. For example the sixth season “(sixth season) there is already a lot of water, so the rice planting is (done) in the kanem prey,” added Triyanto.

A farmer plants rice seeds in a rice field in Demak.  (Doc photo: Antara/Aji Styawan via REUTERS)

A farmer plants rice seeds in a rice field in Demak. (Doc photo: Antara/Aji Styawan via REUTERS)

Herni Saraswati, a farmer in Kulonprogo, DI Yogyakarta who recently harvested soybeans and green beans, also admitted this.

“The average farmer still uses it provision of prey as a reference, for a successful harvest,” said Herni.

Herni said that knowledge about prey systems was taught from generation to generation. His father, who was also a farmer, strictly adhered to what was in it, even down to choosing the day to plant the crops. Meanwhile, Herni, who is now 62 years old, is starting to be flexible in practicing it.

Rusdiyanto, secretary of the Seneng Makmur farmer group, Gunungkidul, DI Yogyakarta, applies more or less the same situation.

“The prey system is a Javanese estimate, now the calculations are combined with estimates from the government,” he said.

Since the New Order era, Field Agricultural Instructors (PPL) from the agricultural service have held discussions with farmers in the rice fields. One of the things they conveyed was about weather forecasts from government agencies. Rusdiyanto admitted that in recent years weather information from government officials has no longer been in line with what is written on provision of prey. For this reason, he combined the two pieces of information, especially because according to him, the weather is now increasingly difficult to predict.

The agricultural calendar system does not only exist in Java. Batak farmers have what is called Parhalaan, while Dayak farmers use Papan Inand in Bali there is a system Wariga.

What is Victim Provision?

Dr.  Purwadi, UNY Javanese culture expert (KILAT NUSANTARA/Nurhadi).

Dr. Purwadi, UNY Javanese culture expert (KILAT NUSANTARA/Nurhadi).

Provision of prey refers to the life of an agrarian society. Of course, this was true before the industrial atmosphere developed as rapidly as it does now. In the past, farmers adhered to nature’s guidance, third victim, lahub victim, rendeng victim, and mareng victim“Those four,” explained Javanese culture expert, Dr Purwadi.

Purwadi is a teacher of Javanese culture at Yogyakarta State University. He teaches a number of courses such as Javanese philosophy, Javanese literary studies, Javanese cultural history and Javanese folklore.

The victim provision is a combination of two words, institution which means rules and victims which can be interpreted as time, seasons, or climate periodization, which bases calculations on the circulation of the sun. The prey system connects Javanese people, especially farmers, with their environment and is also a form of local wisdom in reading natural signs.

As a matter of cultural science, the prey system divides the period of one year into twelve prey, based on the location of the sun, wind direction, weather, and the behavior of animals and plants. This calendar is thousands of years old, but was officially recognized as a royal system by King Paku Buwono VII in Surakarta, in 1830-1858

Paku Buwono considered the prey system important, so he adopted it as royal policy, because of the Solo Palace’s position at that time as a food producer. Purwadi said that at that time the largest area of ​​rice fields that allowed rice plants to grow abundantly in Java was only in Paku Buwono’s area.

In this farmer’s calendar, the third season (drought) falls in June-September, victims hem (transition) September-December, Rendeng (rainy) in December-March, and mareng (transition) from March to June.

“The four prey are closely monitored in the agricultural cycle. This cycle ensures that the soil maintains its fertility. “Also to break the pest cycle,” said Purwadi.

The four large prey are subdivided into twelve shorter periods. Each period contains more detailed exposure regarding situations related to agriculture.

The prey system begins with period of time or first season, June 22 to August 1. It states that the wind blows from northeast to southwest, hot during the day and cold at night. This period is the dry season, marked by fallen or withered leaves, dry trees and grasshoppers laying eggs. The rice harvest is complete, farmers burn the straw and start planting secondary crops, such as beans and corn.

Continued season with or the second season, August 2 to August 24, which is also called the lean period because of the arrival of the dry season. This season is described as food reserves running low, the soil in the rice fields is cracked, dry, hot and dusty, mango and kapok trees are starting to flower and spring. Farmers should plant secondary crops or gaga rice which do not require a lot of water.

A farmer carries a bag of fertilizer as Mount Agung emits smoke from Sidemen Village, Karangasem, Bali.  (Photo: Antara/Nyoman Budhiana via REUTERS)

A farmer carries a bag of fertilizer as Mount Agung emits smoke from Sidemen Village, Karangasem, Bali. (Photo: Antara/Nyoman Budhiana via REUTERS)

Continued with the third season or the third season, from August 25 to September 17, which is depicted by bamboo trees starting to sprout, gadung plants growing but the wells dry. Farmers must plant secondary crops, for example soybeans and nuts. Meanwhile, the fourth season of Kapat, starts on October 18 and ends on October 12, which is considered to have entered the rainy season even though there is not yet much water. Kapok trees began to bear fruit, sparrows that usually eat rice built nests. Farmers are expected to start checking irrigation channels in their fields.

And so on.

The Solo Palace gave birth to prey institutions because of its strong literacy tradition since. Since the 17th century, this kingdom has even officially documented works related to agriculture, irrigation, plantations, rice fields and traditional society. This agricultural wealth also makes their culinary treasures very rich.

“For example, there are 365 types of food at Serat Centhini. It is written in detail. “Because after all, the climate and agricultural crops are also related to the products,” added Purwadi.

Victim Provisions as Science

The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) in June 2023 published a book entitled Pranata Mangsa in Science Review. The authors are three scientists and academics who teach Physics Education at universities, namely Rif’ati Dina Handayani from Jember University, and Zuhdan Kun Prasetyo and Insih Wilujeng from Yogyakarta State University.

This book states that prey institutions are not only knowledge of mythological concepts in Javanese society, but also science that can be taught in learning. Scientifically, this calendar system has a number of advantages. First, the prey system is scientific in nature because it contains material regarding climate change, seasons, types of plants/plants and animals native to Indonesia, ecosystems, adaptations of living creatures, and a calendar system based on the sun’s cycle. Second, prey institutions teach people to behave scientifically in reading signs from nature, which in Java is known as titen science. This science educates Javanese people to become scientists by observing, recording, analyzing and testing hypotheses based on their knowledge. Third, studying prey institutions means studying culture and caring about global sustainability and cultural sustainability.

The prey system is essentially the cultural root where Javanese people look for answers to the problems they face, because this system has local wisdom which forms the basis of attitudes and behavior. The prey system is cultural scientific knowledge and guidance for Javanese people to wisely read natural signs.

However, the authors of the book also admit that these agricultural guidelines are starting to be abandoned because they are considered not appropriate to changing times.

Stay Guided

The prey system seems to be colliding with climate change. However, according to an agricultural expert from Gadjah Mada University, Prof. Dwidjono Hadi Darwanto, this calendar system should not be abandoned by farmers.

Prof.  Dwidjono Hadi Darwanto, Professor of Agriculture UGM (courtesy: UGM).

Prof. Dwidjono Hadi Darwanto, Professor of Agriculture UGM (courtesy: UGM).

“If you let it go completely, don’t do it, you might lose your guide. The discrepancy is due to what is currently hot, namely climate change, globally. “The old prey system can still be used, just a bit backwards,” said Dwidjono.

Dwidjono gave an example of fundamental changes occurring in the agricultural sector related to climate change. In calculating the arrival of the extreme dry season, or El Nino for example, this five-year cycle experiences quite a significant shift. The period when the dry season should have arrived, is currently accompanied by occasional rain. On the other hand, the rainy season has been delayed, so like it or not, farmers have to adjust their rice planting season.

“So the shift has been a long time coming. Previously the rainy season started from the end of December, then January, February, March, now it has shifted somewhat. “The rainy season starts in January,” he added.

Several decades ago, light rain usually arrived in September, then continued until November and December. That way, farmers will have a big harvest in February or early March at the latest. Currently, the average harvest in Java is in April.

For this reason, according to Dwidjono, prey regulations can still be used as a guide to the planting season. It’s just that, to be more precise, the planting time has been postponed and farmers have to be more diligent in looking for weather information. One of the parties who plays a role in this effort is the Field Agricultural Extension Officer (PPL). Dwidjono said that PPL plays an important role in conveying weather and climate information, including ongoing climate change, directly to farmers. According to Dwidjono, PPL is a kind of bridge of knowledge, between government institutional guidelines and climate change outlined by government institutions.

Dwidjono also said, “I don’t blame the farmers. But our farmers do not have enough understanding of climate change. There should be a bridge to provide understanding regarding climate change to farmers. That climate change has an impact like this.”

What is happening currently in the agricultural sector is the impact of climate change. As an academic, Dwidjojo believes that the prey system remains relevant, even though the global climate phenomenon may mean that farmers are not fully able to use this millennia-old calendar as the main guide. [ns]

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