Dusun farmers opt for tradition
Published on: Saturday, July 20, 2019
By: Recqueal Raimi

Tuaran: Padi farmers now prefer machines and tractors to ease their work in the fields. However, some Dusun farmers here still use traditional methods to plant ‘karanahon’ (paddy planted on paddy fields) and “tidong” (paddy planted on hill slopes).

Based on a random survey, it was found that farmers in Kiulu, Tamparuli, Tenghilan and Topokon had nearly completed planting on the fields while planting on slopes is expected to start by end of this month.

The family of Benica Golut, 66, from Kampung Lontik, Topokon, is the only family in the village who still work on their paddy fields since the 1950s.


(From left) Angela, Monica, Benica show padi seedlings ready 

to be planted on the rice field.

“In 2004, the villagers moved to other crops while the rest stopped as the new generation found work in urban areas,” she said.

“Since then, we are the only family left who still cultivate paddy the traditional way. 

She was assisted by her siblings, nephews and nieces while they continue to use traditional paddy planting to maintain a strong family bond.

“It would be easier and faster if we use tractors but we would not experience the spirit of cooperation and kinship as it will not involve group work.

“In fact, harvesting can be done in groups without the assistance of machines as family members who live in the city will return home (to help out in the planting).

“This would spark a sense of nostalgia apart from fulfilling the request of our ancestors who want this inherited land to be developed together,” she said.

Her sister, Angela Golut, 57, said the seedlings grown on the edges of the paddy field have to be well tended.

“As such, it is better that they are planted by hand as wastage could happen if you use a machine to plant the seedlings as some of the seedlings will be separated and hence experience imbalanced growth.”


 How traditional planting of padi is carried out.

Their niece, Monica Bangon, 48, said planting their own paddy is also cost-saving. “It is better to plant paddy ourselves as it is very expensive to buy rice in the market. Aside from that, it is also more fragrant, long-lasting and sufficient for a year’s needs.

“Even if we are given the chance to use technology to cultivate paddy in future, we will ensure that it will be developed together by the entire family, especially during harvesting,” she said.


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