Runinten, Preservation and Utilization of Local Legumes as a Food Source for Local Community
The UN has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Important for both their health benefits – pulses are a great source of plant-based protein – and for their environmental benefits, pulses not only require no fertilization and little water, but actually increase the quality of the soil as they grow by increasing its ability to hold carbon and nitrogen. Because they act as fertilizers for the soil, other crops grown afterwards in the same fields require far less fertilization, reducing the amount of nitrogen-based fertilizers which run off the fields and pollute rivers and oceans.
On Lombok island in Indonesia, eighth-grader Runinten and her friends have picked up on the importance of pulses as a potential crop for the dry soil of their island. These eighth-graders have set out to research, collect, and conserve local varieties of legumes which will then be cultivated and distributed to their community to increase local food security and diversity and to replenish the soils of their island.
Youth Environment Hub team member, Hayu Dyah, told us that she was impressed by Runinten’s strong leadership skills, and by her commitment to the health of her classmates and her island’s soil. This flow fund grant will enable the collection and cultivation of local varieties of legumes, along with an education program.