This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Mongabay. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
In the morning, a number of women in Dusun Aik Abik, Gunung Muda Village, Bangka Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, are busy ngetem [harvesting rice] in a thousand square meter field, at the foot of Mount Cundong [300 meters]. Towards noon, five women in a hut on stilts at the foot of Bukit Sumedang [200 meters] rushed to load the grain into a number of sacks, which had just been dried in the sun for about an hour in the cottage yard.
In the sky, a stretch of black clouds was visible. "It's raining, so it's stored first. Tomorrow sunbathing again," said Nek Ma, 60, owner of the cottage, mid-February 2022.
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"This year's rice crop is enough to eat a year. It might be 4-5 sacks [400 kilograms of rice]. But the last few years, our crop has been poor. Many birds and monkeys [Macaca fascicularis Raffles] eat our rice. This is all because the forest is depleted, making it difficult for many animals to find food," said Nek Ma.