From 10-24 October 2016, Masarang received 7 students from the Kapuas University in Sintang (West Kalimantan) of the forestry faculty, for an internship in reforestation work and agroforestry activities.
The students joined a training by former Dutch Missionary Piet van Hoof, who has extensive knowledge about composting, agriculture and how to work land in a sustainable way. The students also learned to use an A-Frame, a simple tool that is used to measure the slope of farm land, and how to deal with a certain slope soil (for example if it needed to make trenches or not) and how to organize the terracing to be made, as well as measuring the pH of the soil by taking soil samples from different layers of the soil. The soil in West Kalimantan has a very low pH (4-5) which is not ideal for planting. The students learned that the pH can be increased by using compost and biochar.
At the reforestation location, the students built a tree nursery for trees such as sugar palms, mango, durian, jengkol, cocoa, coffee, rambutan, and jackfruit. The students also made comparisons of different ratios of soil mixed with compost to see what that does to the level of fertility of the seeds.
The students enjoyed the internship quite a lot and wrote an extensive report about what they had learned. Masarang is also in the process of compiling a booklet for the local farmers which explains about similar topics, with the goal to assist farmers to use more environmentally friendly farming methods. Masarang thanks the students for their efforts and hopes to welcome the students to join again for more reforestation activities!