APP Sinar Mas, Martha Tilaar Group and Global Compact Indonesia collaborate to empower women in Indonesia. The collaboration is part of Desa Makmur Peduli Api or Integrated Forestry and Farming System program that encourages the villagers in and around the APP Sinar Mas concession area to leave slash and burn practices into more sustainable farming practice.
The two-years program provides training to 1000 housewives in areas where APP Sinar Mas operates. The program began in 2018, teaches housewives herbal plantation and their everyday basic ingredients to become high economic value. They also learned about entrepreneurship base to market their products.
Soleha is one of the program beneficer. She succeeds in creating worth selling snacks from guava after learning it through the training.
“We were inspired to create our own products that have other benefits than the one that we already have now” She then explained that Siak regency where she lives rich with guava, but they usually consume it as fruits. She then considers changing the fruit to dodol (a yummy fudge-like sweet made from glutinous rice, palm sugar and coconut milk) which is one of Riau best selling snacks. Her guava dodol is loved by consumers and currently, she employs 20 other housewives to produce it.
Suryani has the same story as Soleha. She was among the housewives who received the same training. She then chooses red ginger (also called ostrich plume and pink cone ginger) which was easy to find in the areas. Knowing the health benefit of consuming red ginger, she then turned the herbal plant to an instant brew drink.
“The program also helps us with cooking equipment, packing devices and they also teach us to design our packaging to attract the consumers” Suryani explained. She now runs the business with other housewives in Tualang, Riau and earns around 6 Million rupiahs (US$ 420) per month. It is now considered as one of Riau souvenirs.
These women lead their way to entrepreneurship from regular housewives with no income to supporting their families financially. Through training provided by APP Sinar Mas, Martha Tilaar and Global Impact they are able to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps and by the end changing their future.