Last Updated on December 16, 2022
Finding a way to strengthen global and even local food security has been and always will be an interesting topic to talk about. With the population reaching 7.8 billion people in the world, there must be a way to feed each and every single person, every single day. That itself is quite a challenge. Especially after the pandemic, which impacted the economic as well as the distribution of goods across the world. So how can we help provide enough food for ourselves, our family, our community just like Seni Tani?
The Importance of Local Food Security
According to the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, the definition of food security is a situation where all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. In short, food security is met where there is food available and people within that geographical range can access, as well as afford, the foodstuff.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or FAO, also identified four pillars of food security which is availability, access, utilization, and stability. Without these four pillars, food security will be hard to meet. US Global Leadership Coalition stated that the COVID-19 pandemic increased global food insecurity in almost every country by reducing incomes and disrupting food supply chains. It continues to create devastating effects on global hunger and poverty – especially on the poorest and most vulnerable populations. The World Food Program even predicted that the number of severely food-insecure people will rise to 323 million people by the end of 2022.
In Indonesia, TNP2K or the National Action Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction also stated that farmers may face difficulties in obtaining inputs for planting–caused by either a lack or loss of remittances from family members or loss of income from work outside the planting season during the pandemic. This will greatly impact agricultural productivity and also access to food in some area.
Seni Tani & Their Community Assisted Agriculture Concept
This is where Seni Tani comes in and try to solve food security problems locally through their community assisted agriculture concept. Seni Tani itself is an urban farming social enterprises that is created by two youth from North Bandung, Vania Febriyantie and Galih. It all started in November 2020 and now there are as many as 1500-meter square land that is utilized for crop production. Right now, Seni Tani consists of 5 main members and 99 volunteers.
The land that is used for vegetable production was once an unused land owned by the government. Vania was thinking of a way to utilize that piece of land and turn it into something productive. Vania, the now 29-year-old woman, thought about turning those land into land for farming. To achieve that goal, Vania collaborated with other community such as Pupuk Kebun along with 3 people in her team to help turn that land into a productive farm land.
“They also want unused, abandoned land to be productive again so it can be put into good use for the community.” – Vania
Vania and her team then created a food garden by using regenerative agriculture while empowering city youth to become urban farmers. Community Assisted/Supported Agriculture (CSA) is also at the core of Seni Tani program. This means that the produce harvested are distributed through the CSA system, in which the members pay first for the produce at the start of the planting season. This in turn will help the farmers get paid up-front. During the planting season, the members who already paid for their produce will each get the harvested crops twice. In each delivery, there are 6-8 kinds of vegetables.
This CSA system is proven to help strengthen local food security as well as create new job employment in the urban agriculture sectors. Urban farmers now will get a pay-it-up-front guarantee at the beginning of each month before the vegetable’s seeds are sown. That way, a healthy cashflow is maintained in the vegetable production process.
“Crops harvested are distributed through the CSA System, a local, small-scale initiative”. – Vania
Every month, Seni Tani opens registration for those who wish to support urban farmers and receive grown vegetables at the same time. People are also willing to participate since there has been an increase of CSA members from 15 to 25 members. The number is expected to grow in the future.
Seni Tani’s Activities
Seni Tani’s planting area is currently divided into two. The first half serves as a communal garden for the members and volunteers who actively garden together. The communal garden is open every Sunday morning with many gardening activities such as making fertilizer, eco enzyme, and many more. In their Instagram page, there are new and updated information regarding events and activities that is held in the communal garden or supported by Seni Tani. Go and take a look here!
Meanwhile, the other half is being worked on by 2 local youths, who are now urban farmers with a steady income. In the month of November 2022 alone, as many as 45 kg vegetables were harvested. Besides that, as many as 105,7 kg vegetables has been distributed to CSA members. This activity that started in the midst of the Covid pandemic serves as an answer to the slowing economic situation and also to address threats regarding food security.
Not only CSA system, but Seni Tani also has other activities that leads toward regenerative agriculture such as compost making and a new program called Tani Berdaya. There’s a new program called Tani Berdaya, sponsored by Pupuk Kujang, that gives facilities such as green house, fertilizer and seedlings so that they can continue farming.
Winner of Astra’s Satu Indonesia Award
Focussing on streghtening food security as well as helping the community bounce back from the pandemic, Seni Tani received appreciation from Astra. Vania became the Recipient of Special Category Appreciation: Selfless Warriors during the COVID-19 Pandemic SATU Indonesia Awards 2021.
Besides Vania and Seni Tani, there are lots of inspiring youth and movement that was awarded the SATU Indonesia Awards too. You can check them out in the SATU Indonesia Award homepage. Many of them have great vision and the will to make it happen, just like Vania and Seni Tani vision to help provide local food security while helping empower the community.
- FAO, Declaration of the World Food Summit on Food Security.
- TNP2K, Maintaining Food Security During the Covid-19 Pandemic.
- E-Booklet 13th SATU Indonesia Awards 2022