Caritas Asia looking to reshape farming

Caritas Asia is trying to develop sustainable agriculture and reshape farming communities in Indonesia.

It aims to develop organic farming to improve land fertility, build food sufficiency and improve people’s lives.

At a conference earlier this month representatives highlighted the need to develop sustainable agricultural methods.

The representatives came from from 13 countries and included donor organisations, local government officials, students and activists.

Father Yuvens Rugi, who is a director of Caritas Ruteng, says participants discussed developing sustainable agriculture through organic farming.

“Participants agreed that using natural fertiliser can address productivity and environmental problems facing many farming communities.”

Decades of chemical fertiliser use has damaged the environment and land fertility in many countries.

This has led to reduced yields, hurting farming communities.

The Ruteng Diocese has trained regional farmers in villages in the production of organic fertiliser.

Father Marthen Chen, who is the director of Ruteng Diocese’s Pastoral Centre, says government bodies, as well as other institutions, should promote sustainable farming options to make it popular in the region.

This will increase the quality of life of the farmers.

Kamelus Deno, who is the head of Manggarai district in Ruteng Diocese, says sustainable farming is one of the ways to improving a farmer’s quality of life.

He says 63 percent of the total workforce of 137,440 in his district work in the agriculture sector. They have been trapped in poverty for years.

Since 12 groups of about 400 people in an area of 50 hectares started organic farming last year, Chen says the results have been very promising.

Production reached 320,000kg, mainly fruits and vegetables.


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