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Jakarta Post

Small steps taken toward lower carbon development

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, November 25, 2019   /  05:07 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Customers line up to buy red chili and shallots at the farmers' price of Rp 10,000 (75 US cents) per kilogram and Rp 14,500 per kg, respectively, at a farmers shop (Toko Tani/TTI) in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, in this undated file photo. Dozens of women in Sungai Kayu Ara and Parit I/II, Siak regency, Riau have switched to shallot farming from oil palm.(JP/Stefani Ribka)

Oil palm plantations have provided food on the table for many families in the villages of Sungai Kayu Ara and Parit I/II, Siak regency, Riau. Dozens of women there, however, have been fighting against all odds to lower their reliance on the controversial commodity for the past year. While their husbands, like many other villagers in the region, earned a living as oil palm smallholders, these 40 women insisted on finding alternative commodities to be planted on their plots of land -- out of concern that the former commodity had offered their families with uncertain income on top of damaging the environment. Their choice fell to shallots -- the onion variety that plays a vital role in Indonesian cuisine. Farming shallots in an area dominated by oil palm and pineapple plantations was quickly deemed odd, if not impossible, by their neighbors, even more so when they did so on the pea...