Many farmers on West Timor suffered from pests and plant diseases. Ever-increasing production costs were no longer proportional to yields. Organic farming was the solution for people and nature! 

On West Timor, farmers grow a lot of maize, rice, coffee and fruit. The land was always very fertile, but in recent years things were not going so well. Agricultural yields fell, while production costs rose. This was mainly because the condition of the soil deteriorated. Crops were therefore less resilient to pests and diseases. 

Food supply was at risk 

Agriculture is the main source of income for these people. If nobody did anything, the entire food supply would be at risk. The local organisation YASAP also identified this problem. They run a kindergarten and a children’s home and have a large vegetable garden. They very much wanted to sell the vegetables from their garden at the market, so they could use the money to keep their school and daycare running. Unfortunately, that didn’t really work out at the time. 

A true eldorado 

And so it was time for action. There was a very successful training centre nearby where crops were grown impressively and healthy pigs and chickens roamed. This centre was a true eldorado where everything is grown and bred organically. The people at this centre were very keen to train the farmers in the area in organic farming and also transfer their knowledge to the kindergarten, so that the vegetable garden there would also grow and flourish. 

Switched to organic farming 

Eventually, 50 local farmers and the children from the orphanage were introduced to the benefits of organic farming. It certainly required a change of mindset from the farmers, but now they realise the benefits of this new way and know how to control pests in a different way, this project is definitely benefiting agriculture. And with the healthy yield from their vegetable garden, YASAP has become a lot more financially independent from foreign aid. An additional advantage is that the children are playfully introduced to sustainable nature management. 

Cooperation between all partners was decisive in setting up the training programme, preparing model gardens and buying seeds. Together we helped the people of West Timor and did our bit for a better environment. Can’t get any better, right?