Robinson Ranjawali, Utilizing Coastal Plants as Food Sources and For Soil Restoration

Robinson Ranjawali has a vision for the future of his remote coastal community on the island of East Sumba in Indonesia. Located on land that has come to be considered infertile, the community is reliant upon food that must travel from the nearest city – over 70 miles away. Importing food from the city contributes to pollution, fuels the rise of industrial agriculture, and leaves community members with little diversity in their diets. Many community members cannot see an alternative, but Robinson is out to change that!

After researching native plants and speaking to elders along the coast, Robinson has identified a number of food crops which will grow readily in the coastal environment. These crops will provide nutrient dense and sustainably grown food which will put the community back in control of what goes on their plate! Even better, by cultivating and caring for coastal species such as mangroves, the community will also be protecting the vulnerable coast from erosion.

Robinson is working with a local women’s group to implement this project. He was chosen as a recipient of this flow fund grant by Youth Environmental Hub team member, Hayu Dyah, who sought out his work after hearing about him from a colleague. She says that she wants to support Robinson because it is through initiatives such as this that we build a sustainable future. She points out that “it is only when we keep diversity on our tables that we keep diversity in nature”.