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Noldy : ......fortunately I decided to go home from Kalimantan


Noldy and his wife at the Church

The lejong approach model (Lejong is a term in the Manggarai language meaning to meet, discuss) which was applied by the Ayo Indonesia Foundation has succeeded in changing the mindset of some people to do business in agriculture field, especially developing horticulture businesses. In the previous edition, umpungjayasiar.com, wrote success stories of several horticultural farmers as a result of applying a motivational model using the lejong (discussion) method. Generally, farmers who are regarded to be successful after they decide to focus on their business, admit that the lejong method developed by the Ayo Indonesia Foundation in assisting farmers has changed their way of thinking because the farmers were invited / encouraged to identify problems, find out solutions, calculate all household expenditures for a year, determine the sources of income, calculate the total land that has not been worked on, and also ask them about the life goals of the family including financial goals.

umpungjayasiar.com, Ruteng. At the initial meeting, before being trained in technical matters related to organic farming, the farmers assisted by Ayo Indonesia analyzed their current economic situation, in terms of income and expenditure (financial goals). The results of the analysis of this assistance become a reference in determining production costs and how much land is managed to meet the financial needs of each farming family. Likewise, by using this method, it is carried out together with families who choose other businesses, such as tofu or livestock, so that their production plans must refer to the family's income and expenditure budget plan.

Assistance by applying the lejong method like this is also intended to improve the perspective of the farmers when they receive external support, such as livestock, seeds, work equipment, etc. from the government or other institutions that pay attention to their empowerment efforts. It was explained to them that whatever aids was given to the farmers, the substance of it is  as a form of contribution from other parties to the effort to achieve the family income and expenditure budget plan, was a logical reason, so that the aids was not seen as a form of "pity" but to improve the economy of beneficiary families. Building the constructive and productive mindset is the content of the assistance carried out by the field staff.

Assistance by applying the Lejong Method

In 2015, Arnoldianus Katung, 32 years old, a young man from Null village, Poco Lia Village, South Lambaleda Sub District, left for Kalimantan, worked there for 1 year, but what happened between what he expected and the reality, was different, life was better in Kalimantan was not reached, so he chosen to return to his village. As a young creative and hardworking person, the money collected from his sweat/hard work in Kalimantan is used to increase capital for the iron bar welding business and buy a motorbike on credit for 1 motorbike, because if the demand for iron bars is low, he decided to work as a motorcycle taxi to meet the daily needs of his family.

Fermentation room

The iron bar business has to compete with experienced welding workshops so that the demand for welding services tends to decrease, resulting in a decrease in income as well.

Noldy then swerved, he decided to develop the tofu business in 2016. This decision was taken at that time, with a fairly careful calculation, he first mapped the potential demand for tofu around the Tangar Parish area. He did it to increase confidence in his option, namely to become a seller of his tofu. He was very sure that many families like to eat tofu but the supply was not enough. The tofu sold in the Tanggar area came from Ruteng.

To ensure that the tofu that he will produce later is of good quality, no less delicious than the tofu made from several tofu producers in the city of Ruteng, he learnt about how to produce tofu on Youtube. Several times he studied on youtube but there were still doubts, whether he could produce Tofu that is accepted by the market or vice versa.

His courage to immediately make tofu emerged from an experience when he met with Stef Jegaut, an agribusiness staff from the Ayo Indonesia Foundation in the chapel of Nul station.

At that time, Stef came to the sation to introduce the socio-economic program to the people in Nul. Noldy who was present at the activity, came to Stef in the front yard of the chapel to propose training on how to make tofu to him and his wife, grateful that the proposal was approved so that the following week, they together with Stef made Tofu using 2 kg of soybeans and yeast as raw materials, on the training, they produced 24 plates of tofu, the Tofus were sold to neighbors, even though the sales were only IDR 50 000 but for Noldy and his wife, this was a valuable experience in their lives, the value of the initial sale of that amount spurred both  to work hard for producing more tofu by processing 10 kg of soybeans per day. My wife took a part in the process of producing the tofus. I was grateful to have couple like him,” said Noldi proudly.

In running this business, said Noldy, it was not as smooth as though, he admitted that he had faced serious challenges, most of the soybeans that had been mixed with yeast were rotten and damaged during fermentation, the loss was estimated at tens of millions of rupiah, even though the processed soybeans were of good quality, the amount of yeast it fits and the fermentation room has been neatly made using racks with quality wood. “Against this uncomfortable experience, we did not despair and accepted it as a challenge and a risk, testing our mentality and sincerity in doing business. Then we produced again and underwent the same problem, the fermented soybeans were rotten, then my wife and I decided to stop producing first and at that time, we were stressed and kept praying to find a way out," said Noldy, a father of 2 children. this.


In addition to praying to face this challenge, Noldy continued, he also asked for advice or opinions from Stef as a mentor and was also considered an older brother of him. Stef suggested evaluating the production processes to know the cause of this failure, but no errors or mistakes were found in each process. "Maybe this situation was testing my mental toughness as a businessman," said Noldy.

Luck, turned out to be on his side as the fruit of patience and perseverance, they managed to get out of this dire situation, because 50 kg of soybeans that were processed later turned into good tofu, the storm had passed.

Learning from this failure, Noldy realized the importance of a quality control system and increased the number of workers. After the accurrence, he has dared to produce 850 packs of Tofu per day from 50 kg of soybeans with a daily turnover of 1.7 million rupiahs, carried out by 4 women including his wife. The female workforce, which consists of 3 people, is given a salary of IDR 500'000 per month and they ate lunch for free every weekday, for lunch is prepared Noldi's family. Her efforts have had a positive impact on women in Kampung Nul by providing them with job opportunities.

Apart from selling his tofu, Noldy also sells tomatoes, onions, tofu, vegetables, and dried fish to neighboring villages. He employs 7 people with a wage of IDR 100'000 per day for this business. He bought tomatoes from the farmers assisted by the Ayo Indonesia Foundation in Kampung Rai and they are now be trading partners, especially for the tomato commodity. Noldi needs 30 kg of tomatoes for his business every day.

The financial management of this business is considered very good, he is very knowledgeable about financial literacy, where part of his income is saved in the form of stock and non-share savings in KSP Credit Union (CU) Florettte and Kopkardios regularly every month. These two non-bank financial institutions have given him productive loans. The plan is that he will produce tofu, coffee flour and for that, it requires a large amount of capital, around 40 million rupiahs to add production facilities, a loan will be submitted to KSP CU Florette at the end of this year.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stef Jegaut, a staff member of the Ayo Indonesia Foundation collaboration project with SDW/SVD Switzerland, who always provides business advice via handphone and often visits home, motivates, teaches bookkeeping, and connects me with the farmers, other project targets from the Ayo Indonesia Foundation.

"My decision to return from Kalimantan was the right one," said Noldy and I invited other young people to dare to create their jobs, not looking for work in other areas or outside. Currently, access.to capital is not difficult anymore, the Credit Cooperative provides productive loans with low-interest rates.

Strengths that appear in running the tofu  business and selling several other types of food needs are the support from the wife, understanding of financial literacy, consistency in recording daily transactions, the assistant staff from the Ayo Indonesia Foundation who always invites Noldy to analyze income and spending, network with farmers and other traders, mental toughness to face challenges/problems, have an enthusiastic spirit (Gettinga God into the business) and have their four-wheeled vehicle facilities.

By Rikhardus Roden Urut.

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