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In the Sumba Barat district and Laboya Barat sub-district of Indonesia poverty rates are significantly higher than the national level, at 29.34% and 63% respectively. A further 20% of the population are ‘near-poor’ and extremely vulnerable to shocks.
Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. It is one of the most extreme indicators of malnutrition and in both Parado (40%) and Laboya Barat (49%) the rate of stunting is incredibly high. Several long term issues impacting this population include:
Stunting in children reflects socioeconomic conditions that are not conducive to good health and nutrition. Poverty and vulnerability cause a negative cycle where poor farmers are less able, and less willing, to invest in agriculture or income-generating activities.
Low productivity means there are less food crops available for consumption (contributing to poor diet, poor health and malnutrition); and also less cash crops available for sale, contributing to low income, and reducing the economic access to food (exacerbating poor diet, poor health and malnutrition).
Previous SurfAid interventions in the target areas have tackled many health and sanitation issues. Now a focus on food production is needed.
This project will set up 2 demonstration farms to provide a platform for showing and teaching appropriate technologies, and space to test new methods against traditional methods. The farms are open ‘classrooms’ showcasing good agricultural practices. Farmers can learn new ways of doing things without having to do it immediately on their own farms, thus eliminating the perceived risks of losing their livelihoods.
Agriculture is the main source of food and income for the remote target communities in Sumba and Sumbawa in Indonesia. Improved agriculture production can help to improve nutrition by providing access to diverse, nutritious crops, but also by improving purchasing power so that families can buy nutritious food.
Poor farmers living in remote locations are extremely risk averse. They often have difficulty believing in the effectiveness of introduced practices, and are reluctant to adopt them. Looking at things from their perspective, if crops fail after trying a new approach, they are left with nothing.
5 year aims:
SurfAid in Indonesia will work together with the local government and the communities of Parado and Laboya Barat.
This project fits in the overarching 5 year project called NUSATANI (farming islands) to tackle poverty, stunting and malnutrition at household level through nutrition sensitive agriculture.
Nutrient intake and health status at the level of the individual are the immediate determinants of nutritional status, which is determined by three broad factors:
Food: access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to support a healthy, active life.
Health: including (a) the health environment in terms of pathogens and environmental contaminants, water, and sanitation; and (b) access to health services.
Care: child feeding and care practices and care of women.
Good nutrition includes getting the right quantity of good quality and diverse foods all year. These foods must be handled and stored safely to avoid causing illness.
SurfAid implements activities in the areas of food production, agricultural income and women's empowerment to ensure all factors that influence nutrition status are addressed.