APPOLI Farmers


Selamat Datang! Welcome to APPOLI.  We are one voice, representing 3329 farmers, 67 farmer groups in 9 districts, and 34 villages in Central Javanese farmers.  Our mission is to increase the prosperity of farmers, and respect the environment.  We want to share with you our history, our culture, our mission, and our language!


History of APPOLI

In 2005, Boyolali was experiencing a revolution.  While almost all of Indonesia’s farmers were using chemicals, some farmers in Boyolali were starting to convert to organic farming. One of the farmers, Sutyo, volunteered in LSKBB, which was an NGO advocating for organic agriculture. He has a passion for teaching, and most of the nights, you can find him in the villages teaching farmers until night time.

By 2007, there were about 200 organic farmers.  Sutyo and LSKBB realized that more and more consumers were asking them about the quality and organic assurance.  Due to this, they started to go for ICS Internal Control System training, which is a basic system of organic farming. The first ICS training was conducted by Greenet Thailand, which is an organic assurance body. The second training was conducted by Veco, which is a Belgium NGO increasing the welfare of Indonesian farmers.  Inspired by the training, in Nov 2007 Sutyo and LSKBB gathered 60 farmers representing 13 farmers groups, and they unanimously decided to get organized and unite organic farmers, and we, APPOLI, was born.

In 2009, there was a local festival on SRI organized by the government.  They have done a trial plot of 25 hectares and they have invited farmers around Boyolali to witness the harvest.  We were very impressed with the method.  At first look, we could see that by spacing the seedlings far apart, weeding would be more manageable. We were also pleasantly surprised by how SRI increased the productivity on the trial plot.

We immediately adopted SRI organic, and they did a trial plot of 2 hectares.  The productivity increased from 6 tons to 6.2 tons by the first season, and it continued to increase season by season.  Currently, with SRI, the harvest is around 8 tons.
In 2010, Veco, who was training them for organic ICS heard about Bloom Agro empowering Simpatik and guiding them to be able to export their rice.  Veco thought that it would be good for Bloom Agro to meet us, because we wanted to be able to export our products and increase the prosperity of our farmers.  Soon after, together with VECO, LSKBB, and Bloom Agro, we were making plans to make this dream come true.

After 2 years of preparation, we were finally ready to go for international certification for organic and fair trade.  In May 2012, international inspections were carried out. We were of course nervous, but we knew that we worked really hard for this and we were ready. Finally in 2012, we passed the certification, and we exported to Belgium!



APPOLI and Its Culture

Being Javanese, and strongly believing in environmental sustainability have made us a unique bunch.  We inherit the Javanese value to be hardworking like ‘ants’, but we also strongly believe in ‘belajar bersama’, or shared learning. This means that if one of us is able to do something better than the rest, we share this knowledge and help the others to be better.  We also help others in need. During the eruption of Mount Merapi in 2010, our farmers pooled together our resources; we donated whatever money we could afford, and cooked 500 packets of meals for the victims. We also have the outmost respect for opinions.  In our group, any opinions will always be respected, and we appreciate it more if it is for the greater goods of the people.


Our Location - Boyolali

 Boyolali is one of the regencies situated at the center in Central Java , near to Borobudur, one of the seven wonders of the world! We have 1,015,10 km2 of total area with a population of 949,583 who are mostly Javanese. Boyolali lies near two twin mountains. First is Merbabu, a silent volcano which last erupted in 1797, and probably the most active volcano in the world, Mount Merapi, which last erupted in 2010. Because Merapi is looming above us, our lives depend greatly on its peace. We believe that when treated with respect, it will not harm the people. Once a year, we have a traditional ceremony asking Merapi to bestow safety for the villagers.


Our Language

Our native language is Javanese, which is the indigenous language for Central and West Java. It is characterized by a slower rate of speech and heavy accent, especially in the last syllable of words. We would like to share with you how to say a few words in Javanese:

Welcome - sugeng rawuh
How are you - pos pundi kabaripun
I’m good - kabarin pun sae
My name is… - nami kulo
Have you eaten? – samoun mak'em
Rice - seku
It is very delicious! – enak sanget
Thank you -  maturnuwun
See you soon - sugeng pepanggihan

Did you know?

  • The name ‘APPOLI' is an Indonesian abbreviation of Aliansi Petani Padi Organik Boyolali, or the alliance of Boyolali Organic Farmers.
  •  Boyolali is city and regency in Central Java with climate ranging from 24 degrees in the afternoon, to 22 degrees Celsius at night.
  • It is a well known region for agriculture and for produce such as rice, milk, and papaya, with areas starting from 1135 meters above sea level
  • Boyolali’s strategic landscape lies at the foothill between a twin mountain of Central Java, Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi.
  • In November 2010, we experienced a shower of volcanic ash, as Mount Merapi, one of the world’s active volcanoes, had a huge eruption. These ashes, full of volcanic minerals, added fertility to our soil.
  • The water source for our fields used to be a Royal Bath for the ancient Paku Buono Kingdom, who believed in its healing and rejuvenating properties.  The water quality is so pristine that until today, the water is transported to serve an existing nearby Kingdom in Solo.
  • There are 949,583 of us and we are ethnically Javanese people.
  • Some of us have really long names.  One of our Kings was King Kasunanan Surakarta Hadiningrat Sri Paduka Susuhunan Paku Buwono.
  • We are famous for our copper arts.  Historically, we are surrounded by Javanese Kingdoms, which adorned their palaces with copper arts.  Until today, we have many very skilled artisans who are experts in melting and molding coppers into intricate designs.