Compared to the start of VECO's coffee programme in Flores, Indonesia, three years ago, we see that the opinion of women is much more valued and taken into account. Marselina Walu, also known as Mama Lina, is one of them. She pushes back against the stereotypical images of farming that, in Indonesia, are usually dominated by men. Mama Lina is not only a woman who farms, but also a leader, now chairing a coffee cooperative in Bajawa, on the island of Flores.
Becoming a farmer is usually not the dream of most Indonesians. Many Indonesian farmers would tell you that they farm not because they chose to, but because they had to. It is even more unusual for a woman to manage her own farm. Farming in Indonesia is a men’s world and although women are traditionally involved, they are given specific and limited roles of being mostly helpers of their husbands. Mama Lina didn’t plan to be a farmer, either. But once she got into it, she found not only her true passion but also her natural talent for leadership.