With the purpose to know how coconut farmers, MSMEs and other coconut industry survive during COVID-19 pandemic, broaden the knowledge about production of coconut sugar and related products and the challenges faced by the units involved in this sector, ICC team under the leadership of Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director, visited the Aliet Green coconut sugar processing unit at Bantul, Yogyakarta on 10th November 2021. She was accompanied by Ms. Mridula Kottekate, Assistant Director, Mr. Alit Pirmansah, Market & Statistics Officer and Mr. Klaudio D. Hosang, Administrative & Finance Officer.
As we all heard about the proverb that Where there’s a will there’s a way and Ms. Lastiana Yulianderi, Director of Aliet Green is the right example for that. She always determined to do something and find her own way to accomplish it regardless of any obstacles. with this will power she started this unit of coconut sugar production in 2009. Basically she is a graduate with English literature but her strong will power to do something for the society bring her into this sector. She used to collect the raw materials from the farmers in the nearby villages. Three farmers group covering around 1,900 farmers who used to supply the neera for her unit. Processing is done at the unit and the final product coconut sugar is exported mainly to North America and Europe. Total production capacity of the unit is 350 ton per month and nearly 15 containers of sugar are exported every month. Altogether 113 employees are working in the unit of which majority are women workers. She always trying to motivate the women to come forward so that they can be self-sufficient and can earn for their families too. The product is organically certified and having good demand in the global market. Though Covid-19 did not affect her business but the transportation cost had been increased many fold for the exporters.
During 2019 her company has been sanctioned with a climate change project by the Dutch government with total project of 1 million Euro. The project period is for five years but amid covid -19 the project could start implementing from 2020 only and so far an amount of 1.4 billion Rupiah spent. For implementation of the project she selected the villages of nearby area where the farmers group are working. The field level workers have been named as green warriors and 19 such warriors are deputed in the field to implement the Fair Trade fund project. The warriors mainly motivating the farmers to go for high yielding coconut varieties to increase their production and income and maintaining the good quality of products. They have been convinced to take up intercropping in their coconut garden for more income. Aliet Green selected some demonstration plot to plant high yielding dwarf variety mainly Entog variety from Kebumen to motivate the farmers and around 600 seedlings of the Entog variety have been distributed to the farmers. Aliet Green is working and supporting for an inclusive, resilient and sustainable coconut development.
Ms. Lastiana taken the ICC team to the farmers field and had a discussion with green warriors and the women farmers who are into sugar processing. Generally in a family the male member go for harvesting of neera and the females are into the processing. The demonstration plots where the Entog varieties are planted also visited. During the course of discussion Dr. Jelfina advised to go for more dwarf varieties which is good for sugar production as per the research conducted by Balit Palma. Executive Director further added that now government of Indonesia also encouraging coconut cultivation and replanting program so Aliet Green through the green warriors get trained and can encourage more farmers to go for the planting in near future. She assured the full support of ICC in this regard in coming years and appreciated the work carried out by Ms. Lastiana and her team and mentioned that she is a good example for millennial generation and as an women entrepreneur in the coconut sector. During the visit Dr. Jelfina presented ICC plaque of appreciation and publication to Ms. Lastiana.