Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife, including many endangered species. Sumatran rhinos, tigers, elephants and other large mammals make their home in Bukit Barisan Selatan, a famed national park in Lampung province on the southern tip of Sumatra.
With its rich volcanic soil, Lampung province is also a thriving agricultural region known for its coffee and cocoa. This precious landscape and its rare wildlife are under intense pressure from economically stressed farmers who have converted rainforest to cropland. Without the proper information and tools they need to manage their land responsibly, these farmers can damage the rich soils and clean water they depend upon—and hurt the long-term economic prospects of their own communities.
The Rainforest Alliance is working in conjunction with Nescafé to train coffee producers in Indonesia, as well as Côte d’Ivoire and Mexico, to farm responsibly and efficiently, increase their income, and become stewards of local wildlife habitat and waterways. In an area of Lampung that borders the national park, we’ve led workshops for farmers—many of whom are women—covering topics ranging from integrated waste management and ecosystem conservation to worker health and safety.
Our trainers demonstrated the benefits of natural pest control methods as an alternative to dangerous herbicides, as well as pruning and weeding techniques to protect the health of the soil. The farmers also learned how to create their own composting agent, liquid fertilizers and fungicides using readily available, organic ingredients.
Since the training sessions, the farmers have applied their newfound knowledge to boost their crop yields and reduce dependence on agrochemicals. They have even sold some of the compost they’ve produced. “I’m so thankful for the trainings provided,” says Jariatun Harnawan, a local farmer. She adds, “Now, we know what we were doing wrong, and gradually I am changing my habits to become a sustainable farmer.”