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Presented By: Lidia Naibaho

Event: 2023 ECHO Asia Agriculture & Community Development Conference -- "From Surviving to Thriving" (2023-10-20)

PETRASA has been working in Rural Development for more than 18 years in 87 villages with over 5,000 farmers. Year by year, Rural communities face more challenges, including poverty, climate change, access to financial services, land use, access to markets, infrastructure, and education. In overcoming these problems, smallholder farmers cannot fight alone; they must help each other. Galatians 6:2 (Share each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ) serves as an encouragement and foundation for our NGO to help farmers unite in a group where they can help each other. We adopt a Social Diakonia that aims to develop the self-reliance and welfare of communities, particularly smallholder farmers. We developed Credit Unions as the basis for social movement through organizing and farmer's training. We preferred the approach to developing people's economy through sustainable agriculture to build farmers' sovereignty with credit union activity as an entrance. And that is in the context of a multi-religious, multi-ethnic community. In this session, I will share lessons learned and successful approaches from PETRASA and farmers' perspectives.