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Jakarta Post

Farmers shift tactics to collecting stones

  • Yemris Fointuna

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, August 4 2012   /  10:57 am

The increasing demand for Kolbano colored stones has made residents living near Kolbano Beach in Timor Tengah Selatan, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), change from farming to collecting stones.

Local residents collect the stones along the 30 kilometer coastline for companies operating under mining permits (IUP).

“If we stick to farming, we have to wait until the rainy season to grow our crops. On the other hand, collecting stones knows no season. We can earn more than Rp 50,000 [US$5] per day,” Okto Benu, one of the stone collectors, said recently.

The beach, which is home to around 2,000 people, has long been known as a haven for surfers and it is now recognized as the center for colored stones.

The Kolbano stones, which have unique shapes and come in an array of colors, including red, gray and rainbow hues, have become increasingly popular with many local a...