World Food Day 2014 lifts up family farming – the way of life for most people in West Timor. People like Yance Banunaek, a mother of three from EnoNabuasa village in Timor Tengah Selatan District. However, water is scarce on this small island in eastern Indonesia, and Yance and her fellow villagers struggled to access water for agriculture.
“Most of the time, there was only enough water for our community’s consumption. In the dry season, the situation was worse, as the water from the spring was barely enough for all in the community, let alone for agriculture. Therefore we used to go to the District capital to buy food, including vegetables, as we could not produce enough food for our families,” said Yance.
“With assistance from CWS we constructed a water reservoir with a spring as water source that ensures enough water for us even in the dry season. The natural spring that the community used before was a distance away from our village, and it was unprotected and was not used properly. We used pieces of bamboo to run the water so we could use it for our cleaning and cooking purposes. Now water from the spring is collected in the reservoir close to our village,” explained Yance. With water supply secured, Yance and the other community members can focus on farming – all year round.
The CWS Indonesia food security/nutrition program is supported by, among others, Two Degrees Food, whose mission is to bridge the gap between consumers and hungry children all over the world. CWS introduced Permaculture, or PERMAnent agriCULTURE, an approach that looks at strategies to create sustainable food growing methods. “We received vegetables and nuts seeds and training on permaculture farming, including making our own organic fertilizer and pesticide so that we can care for our crops properly” Yance further explained.
She, along with the other farmers and families in the village, have been able to increase their food supply. “Before the assistance, sometimes my family and I would eat without any vegetable included in our meal, or sometimes we had only one type of vegetable. Now our food supply increased and with more variety of crops and vegetables, it has helped my family to consume more nutritious food. I have also been able to sell the rest of the harvest in the market.”
“CWS is a blessing from God for me, my family, and our community. I am glad and grateful and hope that CWS will continue to support family farmers so we can provide food for our families,” said Yance.
Family farmers feed the world and care for the earth. Farmers like Yance Banunaek.
By Lesvi Roselim, CWS