Animal husbandry is an important element of the program. Goats are a key element of the successful organic farming program we support, serving the Gunung Palung forest area of West Kalimantan. Goat manure helps to improve the quality of the soil – and maintaining soil quality is essential to end the environmentally damaging practice of clearing rain forest to make new farmland.
The goats-for-widows project, developed by ASRI, uses goats to help improve the livelihoods of the area’s most disadvantaged households – widows, often raising families alone. Mated pairs of goats and training in their care are given to these women. In return, the participants pay back two baby goats, which are distributed to two other households in need. They also pay ASRI a few bags of manure, which are distributed to local farmers in ASRI’s organic farming program. Thereafter, the additional offspring and manure may be sold, providing the widows much-needed income. These households, once marginalized, are now developing a growing local market for organic fertilizer, for sustainable economic development. To date, 67 goats have been given to 35 women.
The need for goats exceeds our current resources. We hope to double the size of the program, with donor support. It costs $65-$100 to provide a goat for a household in Kalimantan.
- The goats are a source of much-needed household income.
- Local organic farmers buy goat manure as fertilizer