Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Palm sugar vs forest conservation

W. Marsigit et al, 2005
Palm sugar is one of the products produced by villagers in the province of Bengkulu. This  home-based traditional  industry has been practicing a long time ago by many villagers to support their family incomes. 
Areas of production in the province of Bengkulu are mainly in Kabupaten Rejang Lebong, Kabupaten Lebong. Some other municipalities to a lesser degree produced this sugar as well. Farmers trap the sugar sap using a bamboo [lately we introduced the use plastic pipe, to reduce the fermentation of the sap] during the evening by putting the pipe around the flower bunch and take back the container in the next morning. The sugar sap is then cooked for 6 – 8 hours to get sticky sugar palm that ready to shape-formatted accordingly.  The interesting part is the way they cook to get the palm sugar. Producers used up almost 0.25 m3 fire wood to get 10 kg of palm sugar.  It implies that this production relies on the availability of fire woods, and hence will take more woods from surrounding forests. What happen when the forests no longer be able to generously provide more woods? The production of palm sugar could be to some degree contributing to damage of conservation forests. 
W. Marsigit et al, 2005
W. Marsigit, 2005

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