The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated a number of regions in Indonesia, causing various industrial sectors to cease operations until workers lose their income.
Nevertheless, the economic pulse is still spinning normally as happened in Bengkayang Regency, especially pepper plantation activity because in July 2020 there will be a large harvest of the commodity.
Farmers and landowners can’t wait to harvest the coffers they will receive from collectors.
Farmers or collectors bring white or black pepper to be absorbed for the needs of traditional markets, modern markets to credit institutions.
The harvest period that is coming soon, is certainly a blessing for residents who need additional income.
Erni Marcelin, one of the owners of pepper land in Luas Subdistrict, Bengkayang said it is in desperate need of workers to harvest pepper so that the spices can meet the market supply in Bengkayang City to serikin district, Malaysia.
“My parents usually need labor for the July 2020 harvest will be about 8-10 people. They’re local people. So far [tidak tertular Covid-19] it’s safe,” Erni told me, not long ago.
Erni is domiciled in Pontianak City, the capital of West Kalimantan which is approximately 212.2 kilometers with Bengkayang City.
He owns a pepper plantation area precisely in Sahan Village.
The condition of the Covid-19 pandemic prevented him from returning to the village to see 1,500 trees.
Erni’s mother and father forbade him to return to Bengkayang until his condition was restored.
As a result, the burden of garden supervision for a while is entirely in their hands.
Erni said the additional labor from residents around the plantation could relieve both parents. They will work not only the harvest period but help post-harvest.
“After Corona [Covid-19) ends, we want to grow cocoa,” he said.
The hope of the Covid-19 pandemic coming to an end is also the hope of Kori Adi, a farmer from the same district as Erni.
Although this outbreak caused some restaurants, restaurants, taverns that use pepper spices to close, kori did not make requests for pepper recede.
Farmers and CEOs of DM Farm cultivate the results of pepper powder from upstream to downstream claimed the demand during the Covid-19 pandemic remains stable. Although prices are now falling.
“Yes only pepper stock [sekarang] does not exist because it has not been harvested,” he said.
Kori Adi doesn’t just have pepper trees, harvests and sells seeds to the final container. He also produces seeds into powder. In fact, the derivatives now have labels.
He named his brand, Lada Max. Pepper seeds picked from the location of dawar garden, Pisak Village, District Seventeen, Bengkayang is processed from the best seeds.
Kori produces two types of ground pepper, white and black. Although the cost of treatments such as fertilizers and midges are expensive, Kori does not turn to maintaining quality.
With maintained quality, according to him, can make varieties from Bengkayang compete with lampung varieties, Belitung and even Vietnam.
“My dream, hopefully farmers (in Bengkayang) can be my partner but with a record of quality must be maintained. I still take it at a standard price,” he explained.
The distribution point of bengkayang pepper varieties in addition to the Area, there are in District Seventeen, District Sanggau Ledo, and District Suti Semarang.