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Jakarta Post

Rubber, South Sumatra's new gold

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Wed, October 29 2008   /  10:56 am
Members of the Farmer Business Cooperative in Payaraman district, Ogan Ilir regency, South Sumatra, set out set rubber blocks in preparation for the weekly auction. (JP/Khairul Saleh)(JP/Khairul Saleh)

Members of the Farmer Business Cooperative in Payaraman district, Ogan Ilir regency, South Sumatra, set out set rubber blocks in preparation for the weekly auction. (JP/Khairul Saleh) Spurred by rising prices and a strong export market, rubber has become the black gold of South Sumatra. One of the province's rubber plantations, located in Payaraman district, Ogan Ilir regency, produces some 300 to 400 tons of the commodity each week. The district's eight villages also host three farmer groups, each with 100 to 200 members. With the price of rubber hovering around Rp 9,000 a kg, the farmers have been able to reap some Rp 2.8 billion in revenue per week. Farmers typically produce two categories of rubber. Class A is the higher quality rubber, which has a water content of around 9 percent by weight per block, while class B rubber contains 11 percent by we...