OIC conducts the community development program that fosters the creation of villages which serve as models of conservation-oriented living. We support the local communities through the sustainable development and livelihoods. This program aims to improve local community’s livelihood through the implementation of sustainable farming practice while at the same time reducing the impact of unsustainable practice to the environment such as encroachment due to land expansion needs, the excessive use of chemical fertilizer etc. Through this program we also increase local communities awareness and support to the conservation of Leuser Ecosystem as this valuable ecosystem has been providing ecological support to their lives as well as their agricultural land.
This community development program is implemented by conducting the trainings in order to improve their sustainable agricultural practice through agroforestry, organic farming and permaculture trainings. Trough these trainings, the local community are taught to understand about the ecosystem and how ecological system can be used to support their farming. Since 2001, more than 1000 farmers in 53 villages around the Leuser Ecosystem have been involved in these training programs and more than 10,000 people participated in awareness raising activities. Not only the that, OIC also involves to support the local community to the postharvesting techniques as well as marketing the crops production directly to consumers in order for the farmers to get the better price. Though the establishment of cooperation, OIC expects that this local cooperation can play the rule to market the local famer crops production in the future independently as well as control the market price.
Currently, the OIC is conducting this community development programme in Gayo Lues district through the establishment of Gayo Permaculture Centre and in Bukit Mas region, Langkat district, North Sumatra, through providing various bespoke training for farmers in an effort to promote sustainable and responsible farming practice.