Using Local Resources to Improve Livelihoods and Build Resilience and Diversification

CWS Indonesia | March 28, 2019

Buttu Tasik feeding his pig supplements. Photo: CWS

Buttu Tasik, his wife and four children live in a village in South Sulawesi. They, like many rural Indonesian families, raise pigs for income while continuing to learn how to adapt their farming for climate change. “Changes in the weather here are quite extreme and we have not yet been able to [fully cope] with the unpredictability of the weather and its impact on our planting schedule. This leads to financial insecurity [because of poor harvests]. By raising pigs to sell, we have money to help us meet our daily needs while waiting for better harvests”.

Tasik is active in his community, where he chairs the Harapan Riwang farmers group that he helped create as part of the Disaster Risk Reduction through Enhanced Adaptive Measures (DREAM) project. DREAM is designed to help farming families strengthen their resilience against natural disasters. Key ways of building resilience include diversifying crops and livestock and learning new farming practices. Related to this CWS DREAM team members recently worked with our partner PUSBINLAT Motivator Toraja Church to host a workshop about making food supplements for their livestock. And after the workshop, Tasik wasted no time to put what he learned to the test. He mixed papaya, brown sugar, betel nut, turmeric and lemongrass to create a nutrient-rich, digestively efficient paste to which he added water before leaving the mixture to ferment for 45 days. “The mixture is fragrant, so I also want to eat it”, Tasik jokes as he shows some CWS team members the mix. “Now, I mix 2 tablespoons of the supplement with each feeding. And, after just two months, my seven pigs are growing a bit faster compared to previous years”.

Tasik was the first in his group to test out the mixture, and he likes the supplement because it uses ingredients he has on his farm or can find in the village. Besides noting a growth spurt in his pigs from using the supplement for several weeks, he also noticed that their manure didn’t smell. After seeing Tasik’s success, several farmers followed his lead. “When I saw others using the supplement, and once we had enough manure that didn’t smell bad, we started to use the manure as a fertilizer – something we were hesitant to do before because we didn’t want to disturb our neighbors with the smell”.

Successes like this one from the Harapan Riwang farmer group are the aim of the DREAM project. Farmers have opportunities to access information and gain knowledge. Then, with this knowledge, they create simple, maintainable systems to help increase the productivity of their work to diversify and strengthen their livelihoods as they cope with the impacts of climate change, which are affecting their crops.

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