Kerendan and Muara Pari (Indonesia)
Upon entry into the Bangkanai Block, the Company carried out an Economic Potential Mapping of the surrounding communities, Kerendan and Muara Pari. The mapping identified that many of the local villagers earn less that $1 per day.
Almost half of that income was being allocated to buying vegetables. A project begun in August 2014 working to educate locals on sustainably planting and harvesting their own vegetables, enabling them to use their income on other urgent needs. Almost all the beneficiaries of this project now enjoy their own grown vegetables and even have excess production which they are able to sell at the market.
Additionally, the mapping showed that there was enormous herbal produce potential that was not being accessed by locals. Work began to educate the locals on the uses and benefits of several of the herbs already growing around them. A doctor conducted medical examinations on several of members from the local community, medicating those that needed it with herbal remedies, rather than manufactured medicines. A majority of the villagers were healed this way and the education of such remedies spread amongst the locals, and many wanted to learn more. Subsequently, a series of workshops were held to help locals identify plants and their various functions as well as how to replant them. In both Kerendan and Muara Pari, a Herbal Group was established to learn and develop herbal produce for consumption within the villages.
Finally, the mapping project identified that rubber forests, although providing the main livelihood in the area for decades, were not being well maintained and subsequently production was inefficient and of poor quality which kept its price low. Our intervention, facilitating training on maintaining the rubber trees organically without chemicals, aims to provide long term improvements to the quality and quantity of rubber production in the area.
We have continued this local economic development programme in Kerendan and Muara Pari, and following active engagement with the local government in the region, livestock was donated to the villages to help with the fertilisation of the herbal produce.