With a long-standing commitment to generate alternative income for the communities they work with, Discova has unveiled a new project to support the local communities of the region in Bali.
As a part of their broader objectives to ensure that tourism has a greater impact on communities, they have now initiated a project to help develop an organic farming project in cooperation with the villagers in Bali.
Where it all started
In Manggis village in Bali, Indonesia, the villagers’ primary source of income is farming rice. Therefore, they are heavily reliant on fully-functioning irrigation systems to ensure year-round harvests. So, when an irrigation pipe breaks, this causes enormous problems for the farming community. This is what happened in December 2019, and after numerous attempts to amend the issue, it was realised that expensive new materials would be needed to fix the pipe.
This is where Discova has partnered with Bali Rare Paduraksa (BRP) to fix the initial irrigation issue and educate farmers on organic and sustainable farming techniques to diversify their crops. BRP is an independent association which educates farmers on organic and sustainable farming in Bali.
The work so far
The pipes have already been installed, allowing the water necessary for rice farming. However, as was discussed in meetings with Discova in December 2020, the villagers wanted to convert some of the lands to planting different crops.
An agreement was made to undertake some knowledge-sharing initiatives. With this new relationship, there is a view to developing some longer-term tourism activities with this community. With the move to organic farming methods a trend in Bali amid a growing realisation of the health benefits of organic products, it was decided that the company would finance workshops to teach the farmers all the facets of organic agriculture. These workshops have already begun, with two half days of theory related to organic farming and two full days of hands-on practice making liquid and dry fertiliser.
Peter Christiansen, Indonesia’s country manager for Discova, explained: “We are very excited to help the farmers of our communities generate additional income, while also supporting Bali’s growing organic farming movement. Starting the first batch with 22 farmers and 3 hectares of land, I have been surprised by the local people’s interest and enthusiasm to move away from traditional farming. They are focused on a healthier environment, but also want to ensure they eat healthier, especially their kids.”
Innovating the farming techniques and moving toward more sustainable farming is merely the first phase of our work together. The second phase is to help the community sell their products.
We hope to invest significantly in the youth in the community to give them the business acumen and skills necessary to help sell their products in the future. They will also learn how to market themselves as a tourist destination. Furthermore, we hope to leverage our longstanding relationships with hotels and suppliers in the area to put them into contact with this community, thereby facilitating a supply chain.
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