My business supports local government programme on the cultivation of Moringa plants. In fact, according to the research I read, it can help to prevent stunting that is very high NTT."Devaart Rescy Jonathan Manu or Epang
The training, organized by the Consulting Institution for the Empowerment of Small Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives (LKP UKMK), is part of the Employment and Livelihood project, a joint United Nations (UN) project in Indonesia in which the ILO is one of the four UN agencies involved.
“Through this joint project, we are providing trainings in entrepreneurship and business development for vulnerable groups who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the Eastern regions of Indonesia including NTT,” said Budi Maryono, ILO’s Programme Officer for Entrepreneurship. “Through the training, groups of women, villagers, refugees, people with disabilities, people with HIV and youth groups of Epang’s age were trained online to increase their income earned from their new or existing businesses.”
The question that sparked the idea for the birth of Moringa House was: “Do you have a business idea?” This question ignited Epang’s entrepreneurial spirit, inspiring him to start an agricultural business. The idea also reminded him about the research equipment his father had.
“My father has a complete set of tools that he has not used for a long time. Rather than leaving the tools unused and broken, I’d better use them to make money, right?” he said with a smile as he cleaned the oil squeezer given to him by his father.
So, why Moringa? For Epang, Moringa is a traditional plant that have been used by people of NTT for generations. Moringa, known for its richness in minerals and vitamins, is commonly used in daily cooking or consumption.
“We call this plan a miracle plan. My business supports local government programme on the cultivation of Moringa plants. In fact, according to the research I read, it can help to prevent stunting that is very high NTT,” he said enthusiastically.
Through this joint project, we are providing trainings in entrepreneurship and business development for vulnerable groups who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the eastern regions of Indonesia including NTT."Budi Maryono, ILO’s Programme Officer for Entrepreneurship
Epang immediately applied what he learnt by opening a house for drying Moringa leaves two weeks after the training. Together with his brothers, and assisted by his father, they hey process Moringa leaves and seeds into teas, flours and pure oils. They also obtained insights from a researcher who did a thesis research on Moringa.
Under the slogan “Nature-based Ingredients”, Moringa House is now doing online marketing. These organic products without no preservatives have attracted customers. In addition to online customers, Epang tries to reach local customers by selling his products at a supermarket near his house.
The Moringa House can now reach a turnover of Rp 500,000 to 1 million per week. Epang hopes that his business will continue growing so that he can open job opportunities not only for his family but also for people of NTT. He also hopes that more young people can participate in preserving the food, culture and local wisdom of NTT.
“I am proud to be able to take part in utilizing the local potential and wisdom. For me, the main capital for the future is determination and willingness to learn,” stated Epang, closing the conversation that afternoon.