The Ministry of Village Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has been conducting a project, Decent Work for Food Security and Sustainable Rural Development (DW4FS&SRD): Support to Selected Coastal Communities along the Seaweed Value Chain in East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia.
The project introduces new knowledge and skills to woman farmers on how to produce and market value-added seaweed products.
Initially, there were only five women groups facilitated by FAO, but since March 2017, the groups have increased to seven.
“Before FAO came, we never had any woman groups. We also only produced dried seaweed for sell. Now, we have many variants of seaweed-based food products to sell,” said Elizabeth Beta, one of the women farmers.
Siti Bariyah and Elizabeth Beta are members of Kalala Seaweed Community that consists of 100 seaweed farmers. Siti Bariyah is the Head of the Seaweed Community.
“Now, I can produce twelve variants of seaweed-based snacks for sell. We have separate roles with my husband who farms seaweed while I process it. From my work, at least I contribute around Rp. 1,250,000 every month for household use. The good thing is I need only a few kilogrammes of dried seaweed to make such good income,” said Siti.
In addition to seaweed processing, FAO also trains woman groups in such topics as Leadership, Group Dynamics, as well as Financial and Assets Management, thereby improving women’s contribution in the family.
photo caption: Siti Bariyah (left) and Elizabeth Beta (2nd from right) proudly presented their seaweed-value-added products to members of their women’s groups and trainers.