In Manjung village, located in Klaten regency, Central Java, almost half of the residents make their living as vermicelli makers. The fame of the homemade vermicelli industry, which started in the 1950s, is not only limited to the surrounding areas but has reached provinces outside Java.
The signature of Manjung vermicelli is that it is made from sago instead of rice.
Manjung vermicelli production increases every year. There are at least 70 homes producing vermicelli in Manjung village. Each household can produce between 100 and 200 kilograms of vermicelli per day and each kilogram is priced at Rp 13,000 (US$1).
From 3,500 villagers, 40 percent work in the vermicelli industry.
The history of the homemade vermicelli industry in Manjung began when a man named Slamet Somo Suwito, who had worked for a vermicelli businessman of Chinese descent, decided to quit his job and start his own business.
His business was a success and he began to employ his relatives and neighbors.
Despite increasing sales, one thing has remained unchanged in Manjung — the vermicelli makers still use manual labor and traditional methods. The only “modern” equipment used are the dough mixer and the hydrolic press machine. [yan]