Thanks to co-financing from RVO (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland), we have established local processing units for farmers in their villages. These units process arenga palm sugar, which is made from the sap of the indigenous arenga palm, as well as coffee (both arabica and robusta), and clove essential oil.
Clove leaf essential oil
To produce essential oil, fallen clove leaves are collected from the ground and sent to a large distillation unit located in one of the villages. where essential oil is extracted. Natural leaf byproducts after the distilling process are returned by farmers on their land. An Indonesian company buys the oil from the farmers at a good price and further processes the essential oil to meet the quality standards required for export.
Coffee with a story
We discovered that many farmers in the area were not interested in growing coffee due to low prices and not getting paid directly after selling to the middlemen. We found that low prices were a result of lack of knowledge on which beans to harvest and what the best way is to manage the trees and harvest the beans. To address this, we provided training on picking techniques and built a drying unit to ensure the beans were dried well and good quality. We buy the green beans at a good price and pay the farmers immediately upon sale, which is a significant improvement from waiting up to two months for payment from middlemen. Upfront payments and knowledge of how to harvest coffee for the best price have led to more farmers wanting to plant coffee bushes. Empathizing with the often poor farmer and providing the right support can go a long way in persuading them to plant perennial crops.
Reviving palm sugar
The farmers who produce palm sugar faced a significant challenge in marketing their productdue to lack of knowledge about hygiene and the quality requirements. We stepped in to support the farmers in organic certification by improving their processing units with stainless steel parts as well as training them in hygiene regulations. Our efforts have paid off, as palm sugar production has been revived and the farmers are now able to meet HACCP certification as well, which is a first step towards accessing the international and formal Indonesian market. By working together and ensuring that the palm sugar is of high quality and meets international standards, we are creating a sustainable source of income for the farmers and contributing to the preservation of traditional Indonesian food culture.