Many children on Timor Island no longer recognize local food, preferring to eat instant noodles, rice and biscuits. We traveled through the cities to map the root of the problem.
Food issues in Indonesia are more often reported from the perspective of the availability of rice supply and the rise and fall of commodity prices in the market. We traveled to small islands in the archipelago to explore the intersectionality of food with health issues, culture, and the challenges of climate change.
Our journey began in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara Province, on Saturday (5/8/2023), as part of an effort to map the food system in small islands. This coverage is a continuation of our previous efforts to cover food issues in Central Kalimantan and Merauke.
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As in those two regions, this trip to Timor Island was also supported by the Rainforest Journalism Fund-Pulitzer Center. Previously, in Central Kalimantan, we discovered the collapse of the Ngaju Dayak food barn in Central Kalimantan due to the ban on traditional farming practices since 2015.
The food estate project by creating new rice fields on the peatlands of Kapuas and Pulang Pisau cannot replace traditional farming practices. Food fulfillment for Dayak Ngaju farmers has been disrupted, resulting in their children dropping out of school and marrying early.