Collaborating with Businessmen, PAPeDA Program Acquaints the Papuan Innovative Food Products – In an effort to promote original innovative products from Papuan indigenous groups while maintaining forests and culture, the Sustainable Agriculture Program in Papua (PAPeDA) held a Market Gathering entitled Building MSME Market Collaboration with ‘ASMAT’, Tuesday (24/8/2021).

Director of the Limited Association for the Study and Empowerment of Indigenous Papuans (PtPPMA) Naomi Marasian, said that cocoa as one of the prominent commodities in Jayapura, had its glory from 1949 to 1954 through the Yawa Datum cooperative.

The cocoa market share at that time, said Naomi, was not only at local and national, but alsso at the international level.

“That’s not a story, but a fact, that almost each family has a cocoa plantation for about 1 hectare. And that’s what we’re trying to reawakaning now,” said Naomi, who since 2018 has been accompanying indigenous peoples in the Grime Valley, Tuesday (24/8/2021).

Naomi also said that the natural potential in Grime Valley is very large, considering that there are 6 districts which means there are around 60 villages.

“By developing this great potential, we want to encourage economic independence in regions with abundant natural resources,” he explained.

Asdar Marzuki, a representative of the Association for Small Business Improvement (PUPUK) Makassar, who has succeeded in exporting processed cocoa products, said that this Cendrawasih chocolate is unique because of its good quality.

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“Initially we thought about the economical scale. With a production capacity of 9 thousand tons per year, we discussed with partners, then we came up with an idea to make chocolate-based products. Well,  Cendrawasih has a product whose uniqueness is not inferior to the others. There are two things that stand out, the seeds are large enough to produce quite a lot of fat and are also more solid,” said Asdar.

Asdar also mentioned that the product did not only create value for indigenous peoples, but also gave them pride.

“Besides environmental issues, there is a kind of movement to create local products that we can be proud of. That’s what makes us passionate,” said Asdar.

In addition, the citronella commodity from Papua is now starting to be  demanded by the international market. A Director of PT. Yakin Bersama Jaya from Aceh, Daudy Sukma, who focuses on producing aromatic and authentic products, said that this fragrant lemongrass from Papua is a very good raw material.

“The Citronella content in the fragrant lemongrass in Papua is very good for the hand sanitizer, the advantage is that the raw material is already very extraordinary and in accordance with WHO standards, if this mosaic product is used, there is no need to wash your hands anymore,” said Daudy.

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Previously, the PAPeDA Program implemented by The Asia Foundation (TAF) in collaboration with the Association for Small Business Improvement (PUPUK) held the Torang Pu Para Para Festival in the form of a series of discussions that focused on processing of innovative Papuan food products, namely: related to Innovative products of Citronella, Keladi, Nutmeg and Cocoa.

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