It’s hard to imagine bedfellows as unlikely as a motorcycle gang and sustainable small-scale farmers. But Geng Motor Imut (GMI), based in the small East Indonesian city of Kupang, is showing the world that such a partnership makes a surprising amount of sense. GMI began with six students from a local university who wanted to use their knowledge of sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry to benefit small farmers in a fun and adventurous way.
Now with over 100 volunteers, GMI travels among rural East Indonesian villages, bringing inexpensive appropriate technologies to help farmers limit their energy dependence, improve water management, and transition away from pesticide use.
GMI has helped over 90 farmers throughout the region, many of whom do not own their own land and are struggling to deal with price shocks and volatile weather patterns, while being pressured to adopt expensive agricultural technologies. GMI uses all proceeds from sales of their cheap, human-scale technology to fund activities including advocacy, community events, and a sustainable agriculture program in the local juvenile detention center, which helps inmates gain farming skills and knowledge to fall back on when they are released. Far from your average motorcycle gang, Geng Motor Imut has become an influential network for strengthening community ties among farmers, and promoting ecologically-sound practices.
The Small is Beautiful Project has released a short, five-minute film about Geng Motor Imut as part of a series of ‘little films about big change-makers’. While the movement is no longer active, it is inspiring and easily replicable elsewhere; learn more on the Geng Motor Imut and Small is Beautiful Project Facebook pages.