A woman is holding a bag of mushrooms that she has cultivated.

Sustainable livelihoods for women in Indonesia

In Indonesia’s West Sumatra and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) provinces, people living in remote villages and on urban outskirts rely on farming and livestock to make a living.

However, natural disasters, climate variation and dwindling farm jobs have taken their toll on the rural poor. Many people do not have access to equipment or techniques that could boost their yields and help them achieve financial stability.

Islamic Relief Waqf has funded successful mushroom cultivation projects in disaster-prone areas of Indonesia since 2012. Mushroom cultivation offers a good opportunity for income generation among poor communities as start-up costs are low and demand often exceeds supply.

The women are being trained on how to cultivate mushrooms

The women are being trained on how to cultivate mushrooms

In 2014, 60 women were given training and support to establish their mushroom businesses, and ongoing support was also provided to 65 mushroom entrepreneurs from the previous year to help improve their yields and income. The women selected for the new training were either landless, farm labourers, widows, survivors of recent disasters or highly vulnerable to future disasters such as flooding.

As part of the training the women first learned how to cultivate mushrooms and received tools, equipment and seeds of suitable varieties. The mushroom production sites were constructed using local materials such as bamboo and sawdust waste that would otherwise have been burnt. Later, the training focused on post-harvest management, adding value, product development and marketing.

With the help of Islamic Relief Waqf, some of the poorest people in Indonesia now have a sustainable income to help meet the needs of their families and build a better future.

Read more of our incredible sustainable livelihood case studies.

Donate Now