Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - The Vincentian mission in Indonesia is characterized by a special pastoral attention to "agroecology" and explained to Fides by Father Yohanes Werang, a religious of the "Congregation of the Mission" (CM). Agroecology is a science and a practice that applies ecological principles in the production of food and the management of agricultural systems.
Father Werang, who has been a formator at the Seminary of the Holy Name of Mary in the Solomon Islands since 2018, citing Father Jauhari Atmoko, CM, current director of the Agroecological Pastoral of Lazarist Hut, a Development Center adjacent to the parish of St. Joseph in Kediri, in the province of East Java, underlines how agroecological pastoral care is "a model of sustainable agriculture that works with nature", which is also recognized as an important way of conserving the environment. "From many sides, the search and demand for healthy food is increasing. Pastoral Agroecology was founded by the Congregation of the Mission in 2010 in Kediri", he observes.
The first person in charge, Father Markus Hardo, CM, set up areas for the cultivation of rice, corn, avocado, jackfruit, mango, banana, beans and peanuts without using chemical products so as not to damage the plantations or the soil. In addition, a greenhouse garden has been introduced, where cabbages, onions, aubergines, etc. are grown using organic fertilizers, and cows, goats, chickens and ducks are also bred. Since then, the Pastoral Agroecology of the Lazarist Hut is unanimously recognized as a place not dedicated solely to farmers, but open to all: even the institutions, the government and the local Church, take it into consideration to learn how to produce healthy and sustainable food. The pandemic has caused many complications, but agroecological pastoral care has continued. Specific training, combined with the use of social media, with constant references to a healthy and natural lifestyle, are the cultural tools through which agroecological pastoral care passes.
Naturally, it is noted, it is difficult to eradicate from the current mentality the belief that it is better to resort to chemical fertilizers in agriculture.
Father Werang concludes by quoting the Provincial of the Congregation of the Mission, Father Emanual Prasetyo, CM, who underlines the importance of agroecological pastoral care in a moment of profound climate change caused by man, also on the basis of the concerns that come to us from reading the encyclical "Laudato Sì":
"This Pastoral Care of agroecology is really useful and necessary at this time, for this reason we must work together to build our common home", he concludes. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 6/12/2021)