In the diet of the indigenous communities of the Raja Ampat archipelago there is a shortage in the consumption vitamin A. A way of improving the consumption of vitamin A is by introducing nutritionally richer sweet potatoes and Moringa oliefera in the diet of the Papuans.
The objective of the project was to offer indigenous communities farming sweet potatoes with a higher nutritional value and reduce the risk of blindness and premature death of pregnant women and children younger than five years old.
The sweet potato and moringa project resulted from cooperation with the partners International Potato Centre from Peru and the International Potato Centre – ESEAP Bogor situated in Indonesia. Moringa was introduced in the project by the influence of local missionaries in Papua.
In 2016, we had 25 different types of sweet potatoes planted on Kri island and they were evaluated for growth potential by the RARCC, as well as over 30 young Moringa oleifera trees.
The plants were cultivated and initially grown on the island, then distributed to the indigenous communities in the area. Also included in this project was nutritional, agricultural, and spiritual education – the importance of taking care of ourselves, each other, and the environment in the threefold connection of physical, emotional, and spiritual.