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The extended family of Meru Betiri National Park

Syafrizaldi

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jember, East Java  /  Mon, January 20, 2020  /  03:17 pm
The extended family of Meru Betiri National Park

Harvesting: Kliwon works on his plantation at the Meru Betiri National Park, East Java. (JP/Syafrizaldi)

A conservation partnership with the East Java government is the answer for Meru Betiri National Park (TNMB) farmers who had for years lived in anxiety over their future and the fate of their land. “Have you ever tried ayam geprek?” asked 74-year old Kliwon, referring to the crispy battered fried chicken that is now popular in many cities. The dish is made of chicken that is usually mixed with extra hot chili sauce known as cabai setan (satan’s pepper), a variety now being harvested by Kliwon at his plantation. Kliwon grows cabai setan in his 0.5-hectare plantation as a complement to his main crop, cabai jamu (Javanese long pepper), which is far more profitable. Around 30 plants of this species can be found in his plantation in Curahnongko village, Tampurejo district, Jember, East Java. “I once harvested 400 kilograms of cabai jamu,” he said. &...