The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Vincent Guérend, is visiting Tesiyofanu village, which will be declared today as the first Model Livestock Village in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province. During the visit, Ambassador Guérend will jointly with Head of Timor Tengah Selatan (TTS) district, Mr Paulus Victor Rolland Mella, inaugurate the model livestock village by signing the inscription. Tesiyofanu is one of beneficiary villages that receive support from the EU co-funded small grant project "Strong CSOs for Inclusive Livestock value chain Development" (SCILD) implemented by Plan International Indonesia. The EUR 1 million SCILD project has been ongoing since March 2016 for 3.5 years and implemented in 40 disadvantaged villages on Timor island.
SCILD initiative addresses high unemployment rates that remain a pressing challenge in NTT province. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, formal workers in NTT constitute only 21.6% in 2016, while informal workers reach 78.4%. Increased rate of university and senior high school graduates over the years is also not accompanied by the availability of sufficient job opportunities. Furthermore, high rate of school drop-outs contribute to the low skills of local workers.
“This means that four out of five workers in NTT work without decent social assurance. If not well managed, this will potentially create negative social impacts,” said Mingming Remata Evora, Country Director of Plan International Indonesia.
Mingming further said that SCILD is implemented to assist the government in dealing with the issue. Launched last year by the NTT Governor Frans Lebu Raya, the project is implemented in 40 villages in five districts namely the district of Kupang, Timor Tengah Selatan (TTS), Timor Tengah Utara (TTU), Belu and Malaka. “The project focuses on the capacity building of organisations or community groups in the assisted villages and targeting youth, especially women,” added Mingming.
EU Ambassador Vincent Guérend highly appreciates SCILD initative. "I am very glad to learn about the project progress and results achieved after one year implementation. Thanks to good collaboration and synergy between the Provincial and District Government offices, CSOs, the villages as well as youth groups, SCILD can realise its support to improve the livelihood of youth and young women farmers through livestock sector" said Ambassador Guérend. "This is a promising local economic potential and hopefully can enhance the Local Government efforts to reduce poverty and prevent youth’s migration to overseas jobs. Furthermore, women should be provided alternative livelihoods opportunities in order to have the option of not leaving their children and family behind," he added.
The SCILD project is implemented by Plan International Indonesia in partnership with two local organisations Yayasan Sanggar Suara Perempuan (YSSP) and Bengkel Advokasi Pemberdayaan dan Pengembangan Kampung (APPeK). The project also involves eight community groups in NTT focusing on youth especially women towards livestock sector development. The grant fund for each community group totals EUR 50,000 or approximately IDR 100 million, for supporting 250 young people as beneficiaries. The total number of youth benefiting from the project is 2,000 people of which 65% are women.
To date, as many as 1,457 livestock breeds (328 cows, 661 pigs and 468 hens) have been distributed to young farmers’ groups in the five target districts. The youth groups expect to begin selling their livestock and livestock products in August/September 2017. The earnings gained from the sales will be used by the youth groups as working capital to develop further their livestock business plans and for savings. Being productive and earning some income, the youth will become less of a financial burden to their parents and even can support the family's daily needs.
Besides distributing livestock breeds, SCILD project also provides the youth and young women farmers with soft skills training and organisation capacity building in livestock management. Technical trainings are also held in cooperation with the local Livestock Training Center.