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Overcoming Poor Infrastructure and Advancing Livelihoods: KUPS Sungai Garong’s Impact

Program Year: 2024

Infrastructure is crucial for improving rural livelihoods, as it directly impacts agricultural production and, ultimately, agricultural inputs. In rural areas, well-maintained road networks are particularly essential. The village of Sungai Garong in Sintang, West Kalimantan, has long grappled with inadequate roads, hindering farming communities from acquiring fertilizers because the cost of transportation is more than the fertilizer itself.

Previously, the village community lacked the knowledge and means to produce their own organic fertilizer for crops. Through our Women Forest Stewardship program’s collaborative efforts with local partners, including the Montfortan Sintang Catholic Monastery and PUPUK Surabaya, and with support from, the community received capacity-building training on creating organic fertilizer. Now utilizing their own organic fertilizer, the village is saving money by avoiding the purchase of chemical fertilizers and transportation costs, all while contributing to the soil’s longevity and the village’s overall livelihood. PUPUK Surabaya has also organized training programs to teach the community how to process, utilize, and market forest products previously only known in their area but now recognized throughout the region, including in Jakarta.

The success of KUPS Sungai Garong highlights the essential role of women and youth in social forestry and local forest management initiatives. Their contributions to food security and enabling sustainable practices, as well as their innate understanding of the environment around them, are advancing livelihoods in their communities and neighboring villages. For example, Sungai Buaya and Sungai Sintang, are also reaping benefits from the initiative, learning how to produce organic fertilizer themselves, benefiting crop growth, helping preserve soil quality, and reducing the need for shifting cultivation.

The Asia Foundation is committed to supporting local communities or customary law communities in managing their forests and preserving natural resources sustainably. Through initiatives like our Women’s Forest Stewardship program, we are protecting the environment by empowering those who understand it best.

Learn more about KUPS Sungai Garong’s Impact:

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