Since June 2018, IDEP has been worked in East Halmahera regency, North Maluku, to develop Sustainable Agriculture programs in four villages, which are mostly inhabited by the Tobelo Dalam community (the Halmahera native tribe). The four villages include Tutuling Jaya, Dodaga, Tomares and Pintatu. Tutuling Jaya and Dodaga are part of the East Wasile sub-district while Tomares and Pintatu are in the area of South Wasile sub-district.
In accordance with the Zoning Map issued by Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park (TNAL), a number of areas in the four villages are within the TNAL Buffer Zone. Tutuling Jaya and Dodaga are in the Lolobata area while Tomares and Pintatu are in the Aketajawe area. For generations, the Tobelo Dalam community in the four villages cultivate the land for garden purpose with a mobile system. Such practices often confront them with forest guard officers in the TNAL area when the land they are working on is considered to be in a protected forest area.
Through a series of permaculture training in this program, IDEP invited the community of the four villages to start managing the family home-garden (KPK) around their yard. Vegetables and herbs are what they planted. Although they were hesitant at the beginning, now they have been able to meet the healthy food needs for their family independently. That way, the costs usually incurred to buy vegetables and herbs on the market can be reduced.
On the other hand, through training on post-harvest product processing that was also held by IDEP, now they have even obtained additional income from processed products that they manage from the garden. For example, they have produced dried spices in packaging, chips from vegetables and virgin coconut oil (VCO).
To guarantee their post-harvest food products, IDEP collaborated with the East Halmahera Health Departement and the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) of North Maluku Province to organise the workshop of Home Industry Food Security. The workshop held on February 16, 2019 was intended to equip them with important knowledge about healthy food processing. The activity that took place at the Akedaga village office in East Halmahera was attended by 52 program beneficiaries from the four villages.
Furthermore, to make sure that the processed products they have been producing can be guaranteed when they are going to be marketed more broadly, IDEP is working with them to work on arranging Home Industry Food Permits (PIRT) for their products. (Ed)