Not just Bario rice, but Pa Lungan rice.
Why Pa Lungan?
This limited harvest Adan halus (fine) is organically grown in Pa Lungan, one of the highest village in Kelabit Highlands with colder weather and uncontaminated environment, 13km away from Bario town. The Kelabit farmers still practice hand growing their precious rice on their buffalo plowed paddy fields. Pa Lungan’s Adan halus is a magical grain even to the Kelabits and they have a strong will to preserve it. It has a lower yield harvest compared to Adan sederhana (medium), and is more difficult to harvest, as the grain sticks more firmly to its stalks. Yet, Pa Lungan farmers still insist on planting it every year. And they are very proud of it.
We almost gave up on Bario
But Sam, our Earthist Project Venturist who worked with the local farmers at Bario Highland for 2 years, insisted that we should move on—to convince the remaining few organic paddy plantation at the remote area of Kelabit Highland, Bario, to continue growing organic Bario rice. From being suspected of unethical intention, untill being accepted by the locals as a family member, Sam has been through her toughest journey ever…
You might assume that Bario rice are naturally organic, but not any more after agriculture chemicals were introduced to this land of paradise over 10 years back.
Bario rice is a gift from the originally unpolluted land with fertile soil of the highland. Sadly, after many years of destruction caused by agriculture chemicals, today’s Bario rice has already lost its characteristic aroma and its signature flavour. Yet, almost all Bario farmers still choose to continue with sprayed chemicals as the labour intensive organic rice planting method is too big a challenge for them, especially for this elderly-dominated farming community.
The purpose of justlife Earthist Initiative at Bario is to seek a way to reverse this current vicious cycle. Working closely with the few bravest farmers, Sam managed to produce our first harvest that is 100% free of pesticides, weed killers and chemical fertilisers. From “No choice” to “Why not?”, we see lights in building up a community that farm sustainably with the respect for biodiversity and ecosystem.
We are glad to share with you this precious organic harvest. As the quantity is limited, we wish to open for pre-order. Let’s work hand in hand to bring our country’s specialty— Bario Rice back to its world class qualities, with dignity.