The arrival of new potato variety in the 1980s to Dieng area triggered a socio-cultural and economic-environmental transformation over there. Less than 10 years, this new potato variety had changed the local people who lived in the upper slopes to gain more welfare than those who live in the middle and lower slopes areas. It could be seen from their houses where those who live in the upper slopes had stone-wall and magnificent house, parabole, as well as new trend vehicles.
Behind the success of the cultivation of potatoes, this commodity had caused the change of landscape and environmental damage when the local farmers changed their commodity from potatoes to tobacco, cabbage, and corn. Moreover, the condition is worsened by the uncontrolled utilization of pesticide and fertilizer which aim to maintain the production level.
Those phenomena encouraged Ahmad Salehudin to write a dissertation entitled Agricultural Theology: Religiosity and Economic Rationality of Moslem Farmers in Mount Dieng. Ahmad who is a lecturer at Faculty of Ushuluddin and Islamic Thinking, Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga succeeded to earn his doctorate at Inter-Religious Studies (IRS) Universitas Gadjah Mada after passing an open examination for Doctoral Programme which was held on Monday (29/1) at Graduate School UGM.
Ahmad said the agricultural phenomenon in Mount Dieng showed religion played an important role for Moslem farmers in performing their agricultural activities which were as a sacred canopy in Berger’s term. However, their way to develop their agriculture was influenced by their experience and challenges.
“Those Moslem farmers consider the gifts from God have to be maximally utilized in order for further use to worship the God,” (Humas UGM/Fiki)