ACTNews, MOJOKERTO – When Siti Ngaisah’s father passed away, they left her with a 1,400 square meter rice field. Since then, she has been working her parents’ farmland to make a living.
Since her husband passed away, Siti Ngaisah has worked hard to support her mother, two children and one grandchild. As a junior high school graduate, Ngaisah did not have many job opportunities. One of the few options left is to be a farmer, a tradition that runs in her family.
"Normally, I can make enough money to buy food and pay for tuition fees from working my fields," Ngaisah told the Global Wakaf-ACT Mojokerto team.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Ngaisah's farm could produce eight quintals of rice. Ngaisah can make a gross income of IDR 2.8 million or a net profit of IDR 1 million.
However, the surplus in her farm’s yield did not last long. She has been suffering from several losses lately. "The yield of the latest harvest was only three quintals because my crop was attacked by rats. I suffered from a severe loss," she admitted. Still, it was at least enough to feed her family.
To replant her farm, she had to borrow some money from her fellow farmers. However, almost all farmers are suffering from the same calamity as she is.
Fortunately, her village mosque had loaned her some money from its treasury. Initially, she plans to repay it during harvest season. Now that her harvest significantly decreased, Ngaisah has not been able to repay her debts. "Sometimes I think about borrowing from a bank, but I am afraid that I will not be able to repay it. I will be very happy if there are interest-free loans. it will be very helpful," she hoped.
Working other hobs
Ngaisah has been doing many things to fulfill her family’s needs. One time, she worked at her neighbor’s small business. Sadly, due to the pandemic, the business went bankrupt.
Meanwhile, Ngaisah's son, Hamdan Yuwafi, who works as a laborer in a furniture shop, only earns a meager income for his small family. "My son has a job, but the money is mostly used to support his child and wife’s needs. I sometimes help them with the electricity and water cost. Sometimes I give them a little rice or diapers and snacks for his child,” she said, closing the conversation that day.