Indragiri Hilir, Riau, 7 October 2020 – During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for red ginger has skyrocketed, and seven villages in Indragiri Hilir Regency, Riau have enjoyed economic benefits from cultivating it.
According to research conducted by AiPalette for Food Industry Asia, Indonesian consumers choose red ginger to strengthen their immune system. The demand for red ginger increased by 138% in the period January-August 2020 compared to the same period last year.
Red ginger is a commodity grown under the Integrated Ecological Farming (Pertanian Ekologis Terpadu/”PET”) unit of the Desa Makmur Peduli Api (DMPA) programme of PT Bumipalma Lestaripersada (BPLP), a Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food subsidiary. This programme has been running since 2019.
The PET-DMPA programme, which has more than 124 members, encourages communities to stop using fire in land preparation as well as adopt environmentally friendly and more productive agriculture practices. In addition, it also helps communities gain additional income.
The red ginger farmers’ group, ‘Forum Tani Makmur Mas’ from Indragiri Hilir, Riau, assisted by PT BPLP
Red ginger powder that has been packed by members of the community, with the assistance from PT BPLP, is ready to hit the markets in Riau and surrounding areas.
In this first stage of the programme, farmers there yielded a total of 62 tonnes. Each member of the farmers’ group earned IDR 15 million per family in additional income. Red gingers are planted in each of the farmer’s land with an area of ¼ hectares. “Previously, we only sold copra. However, through PT BPLP’s PET programme, we were able to gain additional income from red ginger grown on our land. As a result, now we have seen a raise in our total revenue,” explained Budi Santoso, a member of the Karya Tani Mas group.
This joint effort in cultivating red ginger has received support from both PT BPLP and the local government through the Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes). Even though it is still small scale and in its early stages, community members have agreed to establish the “Forum Tani Makmur Mas” as a forum to manage such concerted efforts.
“We believe red ginger is a good commodity which is able to help increase communities’ income and reduce their dependence on land clearing. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has rekindled consumer interest in traditional remedies, such as red ginger, for boosting their immunity. So, while the programme remains in its inception, we’re confident it will have a long-lasting positive impact,” explained Franciscus Costan, CEO of Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food Riau
To provide added value, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food assists the community in producing red ginger powder so for a longer shelf life as compared to its unprocessed counterpart. The attractive packaging in powder form is also more likely to catch the consumers’ eyes and interest them in buying the red ginger products.
Currently, the processing into red ginger powder has taken place in Karya Tani Village. This is expected to expand to other villages.
To promote this programme, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food has assigned three experts as well as provided learning materials and tools, ginger seeds, vegetable seeds, and honey pineapple seeds to the community for replicating the programme on their land. In the future, the success of this programme will be reproduced in other villages around the Company’s operations.
About Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food
In Indonesia, all Golden Agri-Resources’ (GAR’s) palm oil related businesses operate under the Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food brand. Outside of Indonesia, the majority of GAR-owned entities operate under the GAR brand. When talking about GAR’s total business interests in Indonesia, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food is used.
Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food operates with a total planting area in Indonesia reaching more than 495,247 hectares (including plasma smallholders) as at 30 September 2019, located in Indonesia. It has integrated operations focused on the production of palm-based edible oil and fat. Focus on sustainable palm oil production, its primary activities in Indonesia include cultivating and harvesting of oil palm trees; processing of fresh fruit bunch into crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel; refining CPO into value-added products such as cooking oil, margarine, shortening, biodiesel and oleo-chemicals; as well as merchandising palm products throughout the world. It also has operations in China and India including a deep-sea port, oilseeds crushing plant, production capabilities for refined edible oil products as well as other food products such as noodles.
Founded in 1996, GAR was listed on the Singapore Exchange in 1999 and has a market capitalisation of US$2.1 billion as at 30 September 2019. Flambo International Limited, an investment company, is currently GAR’s largest shareholder, with a 50.35 percent stake. GAR has several subsidiaries, including PT SMART Tbk which was listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in 1992. GAR is focused on responsible palm oil production.
For more information about Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, visit www.smart-tbk.com
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