When the forest that was his source of livelihood disappeared, Wadam started farming to make a living. He was the only Zanegi youth to choose this path.
Born and raised in Zanegi Village surrounded by forests, Laorensius Wadam Gebze was trained as a hunter from a young age. He also knows very well the sago stalks that are ripe and ready to be harvested. When the forest that was his source of livelihood disappeared due to logging companies, he decided to farm to make a living.
The morning in mid-November 2022, Zanegi Village, Animha District, about 100 kilometers from downtown Merauke, South Papua, was already hot. However, behind the house of Laorensius Wadam Gebze (37), it feels cool.
Various vegetable plants are thriving and look well-groomed. The long beans are starting to bear fruit, sticking out of the bamboo poles. The eggplant, peria, cucumber, and chili plants also look fresh. "All without fertilizers or drugs," says Wadam.
Some beds look freshly weeded, ready to be replanted. "Yesterday, we harvested mustard greens and water spinach," he said.