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Jakarta Post

Maria Loretha : Striving for food democracy

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 3 2012   /  10:39 am

Maria Loretha at her sorghum field in her backyard. Courtesy of Maria LorethaFarmer Maria Loretha is very fond of her home in Adonara Island, East Flores.

It was not always like that when she came in 1999 to live with her husband, Jeremias Letor, a native of the island in East Nusa Tenggara. After spending time as college sweethearts in Malang-based Merdeka University, she learned love the hard way.

Being raised in the cities of Java, the Dayak native had to learn to live without electricity and limited food choices. Fish and land are abundant on the island, but she could not cultivate them with her law degree. To be a civil servant was impossible with the local government plagued by nepotism.

She adapted well by being a housewife and a mother until she felt the need to help her husband, who had inherited six hectares, to cultivate the land to make ends meet in 2005....