In Indonesia, being a farmer is frowned upon, despite the fact that over 61% of them are farmers! The reason no one wishes to farm is that the work is very difficult and often generates little income. Plots are small and there are few farmers who benefit from mechanical equipment like tractors or threshers. Food production is down, and crime is up, as many farmers leave for the cities, hoping for work which they cannot find.
1999 – the beginning.
To support the social and family network in the countryside, the bishop of Manado asked Fidesco in 1999 to participate in a project to process fruit. In 2007, a new directive was given: to open a “farm school” in the village of Lotta. The objectives are to help farmers and their families to secure and improve their income, and to promote regional stability by allowing families to earn income in a career they are familiar with until they are ready to take on new work.
Fidesco’s Three Part Plan:
1) Create a teaching farm that is financially autonomous.
2) Recruit motivated young farmers from the villages and invite them to attend a one month training at the
3) Provide technical assistance to these young farmers after their training.
The team is composed of two volunteers and an Indonesian engineer, hired by Fidesco.