Adaro Indonesia helps ensure the general economic health of South Kalimantan communities where it operates through targeted initiatives to encourage self-sufficiency.
One key to the sustainability of mine-area communities, especially after mine operations cease, is development of the local economy. Toward this end, Adaro has supported the development of high-quality rubber plantations, microfinance institutions and integrated agricultural programs. We have also assisted in capacity-building through training and educational programs.
Our Community-Based Total Sanitation (CLTS) program can create multiple benefits in the areas of health improvement, economic development, educational development and socio-cultural development. We collaborate with local youth organizations and empower them to be sanitation entrepreneurs. Around 270 youth received our professional sanitation marketing training in 2014.
As the demand for better facilities increased, we encouraged the establishment of APPSANI (a sanitation organization) in Tabalong and Balangan to fulfill the need for proper, affordable sanitation. APPSANI has installed 323 sanitation facilities for villagers, generating revenue of US$43,000 and a net profit of US$17,150 in 2014.
During 2013, our economic development program focused on capacity building, increasing the participation and involvement of the beneficiaries, and increasing economic opportunities in local communities. One of the programs we carried out was Gerakan Pengembangan Adaro Mandiri (Adaro Independent Village Development), which aims to develop entrepreneurial capabilities in villages. Thus far, 106 villages around Adaro Indonesia’s operational area have participated in the program.
We also cultivate tilapia fish in a pond created in a former Paringin mine area to help local fish farmers increase productivity as well as to prove that an ex-mine area is safe for fishery development.
Previously, the main recent focus for economic development has been the expansion of rubber plantation area, benefiting 7,510 households grouped into 348 farmer groups. We set up a penyuluh pertanian lapang (agriculture instruction facility) to train and educate these farmers in good planting practices and to provide high-quality seeds and farming facilities.
We are implementing a management system for these rubber plantations that includes two arrangements: first, co-operation by hamparan (a group of farmers) to convert their unused lands into a single rubber plantation, which will be managed by the farmers’ co-operative; second, the creation of a model plantation that will be replicated in all villages surrounding Adaro Indonesia’s operational area.
We have taught the hamparan rubber farmers to organize themselves into groups known as Kelompok Tani, a practice expected to encourage better co-operation and co-ordination. We also formed an association of high-quality seed farmers to guarantee supply.
Given all of this, we expect that local farmers would be able to produce a good quality of harvest and get a fair price in return. The model plantation is also expected to serve as a learning facility for rubber farmers in each village. This will further support our goal of making rubber farming the primary alternative source of livelihood in the communities in which we operate.