Flores is famous for coffee. In 2015 one Coffee Farmer Cooperation won the National prize both prizes for best Arabica and Robusta in all Indonesia!
Besides coffee farmers grow Rice (modern paddies and the traditional Linko or spiderweb rice fields in Manggarai) Cacao, Peanuts, Corn, Sorghum, Cloves, Kemiri, Cashew, all sorts of fruits, and many other vegetables.
Organic farmers now grow all sorts of vegetables which they did not know before. This contributes to a more varied diet and thus improving health and supporting reducing of stunting – 9 million children under the age of 5 still suffer from stunting. (data WorldBank 2016 and WHO)
The Organic Farming programs are mostly located in the mountain regions on Flores. It is still a challenge to link these farmers to the booming hotel and restaurant industry in Labuan Bajo. In the vegetable markets in Labuan Bajo you find a wide range of products. A lot is imported from Sumbawa though.
Silvester Wanggel of Eco Lodge explains these problems very clearly in this video made in 2012 by Zoe Pastorfield
These pictures I made in Ruteng Market. I was told that even at this market a lot of the products are imported.
Fish is brought in daily by local fishermen. The price varies depending on the season. During the rain season fishermen often can’t go out to sea and these months are harsh, because they have very little income.
These pictures I made in Labuan Bajo fish market. All sorts of fish available, fresh or dried. In 2017 the price per kilo is average Rp. 35.000. This market will soon move because this area will be developed for tourism.
In local communities you can try traditional local food, such as Papaya flowers with Cassava leaves, Ubi – roots, roasted or boiled and they come in a lot of varieties. In some communities dog is on the menu, mostly in Ngadha. Just explain that you prefer to eat vegetarian. In East Flores is famous for Jagung Titi, a cornflake.