By: Sakuri, Editor of MINA News Agency
After covering Indonesian Muslim Congress (KUII) in Pangkal Pinang, Bangka Belitung Province, February 26-28, 2020, the team of MINA News Agency reporters had the opportunity to visit a pepper plantation factotu, owned by PT Cinquer Agro Nusantara (CAN).
PT CAN is located on Jalan Namang Pahlawan, Namang Village, Namang District, Central Bangka Regency, Bangka Belitung Province. To reach this location, it takes about 29 minutes by car for (24.1 km) from the airport.
Pepper Is Mainstay Commodities in Bangka Belitung Province
Bangka Belitung Province, apart from being known as the best tin producer in the world, it is also known as a producer of pepper, besides oil and rubber.
Rubber, palm and pepper are the three main commodities of Bangka residents.
For the people of Bangka, rubber is a commodity that can be relied upon to support household kitchen shopping needs in the week, while for the necessities of living every month palm oil.
And pepper is a mainstay that can provide a living in a year.
“Pepper is a mainstay commodity every year for Bangka residents,” said Saepul Hidayat, one of PT CAN’s pepper plantation management teams.
Pepper, besides giving hope to increase the income of Bangka residents in the economic field, is also known to have health benefits.
There are at least 10 benefits of pepper, which can reduce body weight, prevent cancer, treat flu symptoms, headaches, control blood pressure, nourish the heart, improve digestion and control blood sugar.
In addition, the benefits of white pepper for the treatment of skin diseases and to overcome vertigo.
Previously, the main activity of Bangka residents in meeting their daily needs was as a tin miner, now the use of ex-mining land into agricultural land has also been developed in this area by returning surface soil and immersing organic material. After 1-2 years, the land is ready to plant pioneer plants such as sengon and acacia. The former tin mining land can also be used for rice cultivation.
At present, as 86 new hectares of rice fields have been printed in Namang and Belilik Villages, Namang District, where the printing uses central and regional government funds to produce 4-5 tons/hectare of rice, with Ciherang rice which is resistant to brown planthopper pests and resistant to bacteria leaf pests (HDB) strains 3 and 4.
In the Namang District area, precisely in Namang Village, there is a protected forest area of 52.4 hectares which is certified to 152.4 Ha. The protected forest of the Kalong or Pelawan functions as a forest tourism area. The forest consists of various species of trees such as gelam, leting, fugitive, and rempodong which are a source of nectar for bees.
According to the Directorate General of Plantations, Bangka Belitung Islands Province and Lampung are the main producers of white pepper (muntok white pepper) and black pepper (Lampung black pepper).
Bangka Belitung is the biggest contributor to pepper production, reaching 39% of the total pepper production in Indonesia.
Still according to Directorate General of Plantation data, the productivity of pepper in Bangka Belitung reaches 1.25 tons per hectare.
Gait of PT Cinquer Agro Nusantara (CAN)
In its company website display, a vision of PT CAN Engaging People Flourishing Communities is displayed, which means to make others enticed and participate in developing the community.
PT CAN’s head office is located in De Primatera Warehouse Complex Block F2 Number 5, Jalan Raya Sapan, Gedepage, Tegalluar, Bojongsuong, Bandung Regency.
PT CAN also has a marketing office in Europe, the rest in the Netherlands, having its address at Heijermansplein 244 3123 LM Schiedam.
During a visit to PT CAN, MINA had the opportunity to interact with key figures in the management of its garden.
Aji Wahyono, a man from Purwokerto, a 2008 UNSOED Animal Husbandry alumnus, who began joining PT CAN in 2019 as a Estate Manager, confirmed that the farm he managed had six staff to cultivate 7-hectare pepper plantations from a total area of 15 hectares.
“It’s only 7 hectares because the rest is still in the form of forest,” said Aji to MINA.
Another CAN team, namely Saepul Hidayat, in charge of the duties and responsibilities as the Purchasing Team, is tasked with finding and analyzing potential suppliers in accordance with the material needed.
Saepul also negotiates prices according to material quality standards and ensures material delivery dates. And coordinate with the supplier regarding the completeness of the document.
In supplying pepper to its consumers, PT CAN provides an added value, namely Traceability, where consumers can ensure that the pepper they buy is the original pepper from Bangka and can be traced through the QR code printed on each package.
“In addition to purchasing it is also a supplier,” Saepul said.
The man from Bandung received a mandate from his company as Supplier, where his job was to sell raw materials needed by other companies to be processed into ready-to-sell products, in this case Pepper suppliers to certain companies to be processed into other processed products, such as cough medicines.
In the plan to develop PT CAN, there was Andri Anshori who also joined in 2019.
A single young man from Bandung graduated from the ITB architecture department in 2015.
He is a Landscape team whose tasks include planning the landscape of pepper plantations, maintaining and structuring road and irrigation designs, buildings and green houses.
One of the key figures in PT CAN’s pepper plantation is Amin Tsofiyyuddin, a man from Mojokerto who graduated from a pesantren in Magetan, East Java. He was given the task and authority to coordinate technical tasks in the field and the task of assisting farmers.
In the field, there is another young figure, namely Andy Ansori. He is a man from Lumajang as the person in charge in the field of collecting pepper seeds and caring for them until they are ready for planting.
Like the nature of beings, plants also need attention in the process of growth and development.
With the specificity of pepper plants, he focused on the development and care and process of harvesting and postharvest.
On the development side of farmers, there is a figure of Gunawan with a genuine farmer background, assigned to head as a farmer group leader or manager of the “Farmer Group” to print entrepreneurs in agriculture and animal husbandry.
That is some information related to business and key figures in the development of PT CAN’s pepper plantation in Bangka Belitung Province.
Most of them are young Indonesians who are committed in agriculture.
It is expected that with a solid and professional managerial, PT CAN can answer the challenges in improving the quality of life of pepper farmers and to restore the glory of Indonesian spices to the past.
Hopefully, what is expected really come true, aamiin. (AT/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)