REFLECTION

Environment 24 March 2015 Yayasan SHEEP Indonesia

Kasti; The Pioneer in Tondomulyo

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She is an ordinary girl; a mother of one child. She comes from a peasant family, who is familiar with farm work - planting, weeding and harvesting. She also raises cows. For her family, cows are investments. Anytime they can sell them if they need money quickly.

Her husband; Mat Kholil is a board member of local Peasant Group Kelompok Tani Jaya in Tondomulyo, Pati. Her husband being active in the organization, the house is often used for meetings. Initially, she did not care much about what was being discussed in the group meetings. But she became curious when she learned that the group had so many activities and so many issues to discuss, and she started listening. There, she understood the problems that the men were always talking about.

One day, her husband discussed with her about the possibility of putting a biogas installation at home; to generate gas and electricity from cow dungs. She did not know what to say but accepted her husbands proposal. Once the biogas installation was established, two cows were prepared to supply the dungs for the biogas. And the result was positive. The gas produced by the installation supplied the required energy to light the stove for daily cooking and to light a 5-watt lamp to be switched when the main electricity failed.

The tangible benefits of biogas increased Kastis revolve. She becomes very enthusiastic when asked about the biogas in her house. She is not only using the biogas, she is also growing vegetables around the biogas installation. And importantly, she gets to use her own organic fertilizer and hence avoid chemical fertiliser. The organic fertilizer results from the biogas slurry, and it is fantastic. Spinach, eggplants and chili are growing well, being consumed by the family and being sold to give additional income. She then uses the money to buy milk for her child, thus ensuring enough nutrition for the child's growth.

As a result of YSI field staff organizing and Kastis active encouragement, fourteen women in Tondomulyo are following her footstep and grow vegetables around the house. And now they do not have to buy vegetables such as spinach, eggplants or chili from traders. Kastis desire and dream of sharing her knowledge are showing results. Her small steps in promoting self-reliance in her community pay off. She is the kind of person required to make the necessary step at individual level, family level and then village level to aim for food sovereignty.

Kasti's courage keeps her going further and further. Kasti has now convinced the fourteen women to establish a group as a media to share experience and information. This group is known as Kelompok Perempuan Kito Mulyo which means women group of Tondomulyo, and Kasti is the chairwoman! Hopefully more women like Kasti will inspire even more women&..(Husaini)

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Last modified on 06 October 2016