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Empowering young women through farming

Plan International Indonesia's Youth Economic Empowerment Programme was implemented in East Nusa Tenggara province. Funded by the European Commission, the project provides training to young women to help them establish farming groups and cultivate fruit and vegetables to be sold in both traditional markets and modern supermarkets. Since it's inception in 2013 the programme has benefited 3,000 young women.

Blandina, 25, from West Timor in Indonesia is the leader of the Nunuh Pakae farming group. She set up the group in 2013 and since then she and her fellow members have earned a steady income from harvesting crops including eggplant, morning glory and Chinese cabbage.

Plan International provided the group with training to help them select crops that require less time and effort to cultivate. “We do not need to use so much of our energy to prepare the planting fields. Now everything is light and grows faster,” Blandina explains.

Delphi, 16, is a member of the Usapi Banam farming group in West Timor, Indonesia. Working together the 12 women and 10 men have learnt how to produce organic fertiliser (bhokasi) from goat dung, dry leaves, gamal leaves, water and sugar. The fertiliser production process only takes seven days so is much faster to produce than compost. 

“If I had not joined the group, I would still be jobless, stuck at home and lost in a daydream,” Delphi says. Using the new farming techniques that Plan International has taught the group, Delphi is able to produce seedlings, tomatoes and Chinese cabbage which she sells at the market.

Madalina, 22, is a member of the Wae Kabuka farming group in West Timor, Indonesia. Madalina grows chilli in her garden and sells each harvest for 200,000 rupiah. She uses the money from the sale of chillies to send her sister to school and help cover her parents’ daily needs.

Madalina enjoys martial arts and wants to become a preschool teacher. “This year I will register for early childhood teacher training. I will keep on farming as we only attend school three times a week.” 

Local hand-made lu’at chilli sauce which is produced by one of the farming groups supported by Plan International in West Timor, Indonesia, has been selling well in the local markets. The mixture of chillies, onions, lime and basil leaves is packed into plastic containers ready for sale. 

This new business opportunity has helped strengthen the farmers’ economy security and provided them with a sustainable business which will support their future development.


For more information about Plan International's work in Indonesia go to plan-international.org/indonesia.

For more information about the work of the European Commission's International Cooperation and Development Directorate General, please click here.