Through our Good Food for Cities program, Rikolto works closely with farmers to build their capacity for sustainable production. In Bali, Rikolto collaborates with Pasar Rakyat Bali to train farmers on sustainable farming methods that reduce the need for chemical pesticides. For example, Rikolto equipped farmers in Bali with the knowledge to make organic fertiliser and pesticides by utilising natural resources from their surroundings. Farmer groups are also integrating the circular economy concept, in which they reuse or recirculate resources to minimise agricultural waste. Rikolto also established demonstration plots where farmers can directly implement and witness how sustainable methods can increase their productivity. These practices benefit farmers and the environment and contribute to healthier, safer consumer food.
Pesticides are potentially toxic to humans and can have both acute and chronic health effects, depending on the quantity and ways in which a person is exposed. Prolonged exposure to pesticide residues can lead to allergies and hypersensitivity, damage nervous systems, reproductive disorders, cancer, and disruptions of the immune and endocrine systems. Therefore, consumer understanding also plays a vital role in mitigating the risk. Washing vegetables with clean and salt water (NaCl) can reduce pesticide residue levels by 65% to 84%, with even more significant reductions through hot water washing. At Rikolto, one of the main activities in our Good Food for Cities programme is aimed at creating a deeper understanding and habits toward nutritious food for consumers, such as through our healthy canteen in schools and urban farming initiatives.