drought farming

overview

This project aims to eradicate the annual starvation period in Eastern Indonesia by introducing drought-tolerant cropping systems.

Rice farming represents a huge industry in Indonesia and most rice production is undertaken on thousands of small family farms. Growing rice is, however, one of the most intensive farming practices there is, requiring high inputs. In addition, rice crops are especially vulnerable to reduced / late rains which can be devastating to farmers who rely solely on income from rice production.

This project will introduced an innovative solution called 'raised-bed cropping systems' which enables farmers to diversity the crops they plant to match different rainfall periods. This will reduce the risk of total crop failure, increase the nutritional value of food they eat and increase the diversity of produce they can sell.

To ensure farmers have seed when they need it to plant in raised-beds, we will also establish seed banks to store seed from key crops, making them available to farmers as required. Seed banks provide access and availability which is incredibly important to ensure farmers can plant at the right time to yield a successful harvest.

key outcomes

 1  

Increased food production across a range of seasons and reduction of total crop failure

 2  

Increased food availability through the dry season

 3  

Increased consumption of nutritious food throughout the year

On average, 40% of primary rice growers lose more than half of their crop each year.

Two-thirds of agricultural households say they delayed or had not yet planted crops in the past three months due to drought.

Three in five households say they lose income due to drought, 

The opportunity to diversify is an important way for small family farms in Indonesia to self-insure against the occurrence of shocks, such as a delay in monsoonal rains that could impact agricultural production and food security.

Our program will help make communities more drought-tolerant by introducing systems that will diversity cropping and match variations in rainfall patterns.

Statistics: World Food Programme & FAO of the United Nations.

 snapshot  

how are we doing it?

Using the raised-bed cropping system, we will train farmers how to plant additional crops in their rice fields alongside their rice. As well as training and access to a seed bank, we will be working with the farmers on the ground to provide ongoing support. In addition, post-harvest losses of major food crops can be as high as 30% due to weevil and rat infestations, therefore we will roll out strategies, such as airtight containers (silos, drums, bags) to reduce these losses.

Project Activities:

Stage 1:

  • Establish a Centre in West Timor, Indonesia, that will introduce and evaluate the success of a range of crop varieties grown on raised beds in local villages.

  • Establish a seed bank.

  • Develop a training manual to train farmers in the evaluation, selection and storage of crop varieties

Stage 2:

  • Establish a network of community-based variety trials and seed banks throughout the semi-arid areas of Eastern Indonesia

your partnership

By partnering with us on this project, you will be investing in the future of farmers in eastern Indonesia, by providing training to introduce them to new crop varieties, seed selection techniques and seed saving. This investment will see long-term gains as farmers increasingly diversify their crops to yield a better return,  and protect themselves against drought, significant income loss and the annual starvation period.

Starter pack of seeds and new crop varieties: $50

Storage drum and storage containers: $100

Training program: $500

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An initiative of World Relief Australia