A wide variety of sweet and delicious local fruit are usually present in certain seasons and flood the various regions.
Unfortunately, if fruit harvest season occurs at the same time, the supply is abundant, making the price of local fruit very cheap. Thus it has no impact on improving the welfare of farmers.
The abundance of various fruit makes Hamidah and her husband, residents of Hamalau, Sungai Raya Sub-district, South Hulu Sungai (HSS), thought about taking advantage of it.
Then came the idea of producing syrup, but a different one and not available on the market. Hamidah persistently surveyed the market to see what flavor has not been made into syrup.
Finally, she came with the idea of processing the typical fruit of Kalimantan, cempedak (locally known as tiwadak), and kwini as syrup of her production.
Kwini or mangifera odorata, commonly known as kweni, kuweni, kuwini, or Saipan mango. It has orange to yellow flesh and is sour or sweet when consumed.
It is native to tropical Asia and can be found in areas such as the Philippines, Peninsular Thailand, South Sulawesi, Sulu Archipelago, and other close islands.
While chempedak is in the same genus as breadfruit and jackfruit. Cempedak is an important crop in Malaysia and popularly cultivated in southern Thailand and parts of Indonesia. Cempedak is currently limited in range to Southeast Asia, with some trees in Australia and Hawaii (Wikipedia).
In South Kalimantan, cempedak, can be consumed directly, or processed into various types of food, can be fried to become "gaguduh tiwadak" (fried cempedak) just like fried banana. While the skin can be salted into what so-called "mandai tiwadak" as side dishes or re-processed into a crispy mandai snack and sold as souvenirs.
Hamidah branded her syrup "Satrup Hamalau". Satrup is a local language that means syrup.
Initially, it marketed only in small kiosks and was often rejected by kiosk owners for fear of not being able to compete with the available products. But thanks to the perseverance of Hamidah and her husband, the syrup products were finally accepted by the public and began to be marketed to several sub-districts in HSS, even in other areas in South Kalimantan.
Sold at a price of Rp18 thousand per bottle, in addition to cempedak dan kwini syrup, Hamidah also develops syrup with frozen, rose, and melon flavor.
The packaging is made diverse, some use glass, the other use plastic with a size of 460 milliliters, makes it lighter and easy to carry.
The bottle cap is also different from other syrup products because it uses machines created from the husband's innovation.
When first opened, then closed again, the lid remains tight as before, thus making the syrup last longer and hygienic. Consumers don't need to doubt the quality.
The many types of endemic fruits of Kalimantan, which are now difficult to find in the market, have made an employee of the National Population and Family Planning Agency of Balangan, Hanif Wicaksono, called to preserve them.
He built a tree library or the main garden arboretum in Ambutun Village, Telaga langsat Sub-district, HSS, and also a nursery for rare plants in Gambah Muka Village, Kandangan Sub-district.
Now, hundreds of species of rare fruit trees from the Kalimantan forest are planted at the location that was started in 2012 in Kandangan.
As an immigrant from Java, he previously had never seen local Kalimantan fruits, such as pampakins and labung.
His curiosity had brought Hanif to look for the various fruit trees. Assisted by local people, he then discovered the various type of endemic fruit trees.
"Over time, I found a lot of peculiar types of fruit and I started to breed and reproduce them. It's confusing that there were fruits in the market, but the trees were unknown. I am worried if the trees will no longer exist, so the fruit will also disappear," he said.
According to Hanif, the various local fruit that tastes sweet and sour are also favored by Europeans and Americans.
The germplasm has a high potential to improve the welfare of fruit farmers because if it is developed it will increase the production of various kinds of local fruit.
Many quite valuable Kalimantan plants, unfortunately, the seeds are sold abroad.
"If germplasm is gone, it can't be returned. I hope its development and utilization will have an impact on economic progress in the community," he said.
Hanif is an environmental activist with various achievements, including the winner of the 2018 Astra Satu Indonesia Awards in the environment, the 2018 Pena Hijau Awards as an environmental driver.
The founder of the Tunas Meratus program also won Kalpataru in 2019 from the Ministry of Environment for his service in preserving the environment.
The tree library is expected to be a location for eco-tourism and research or learning about rare native trees of Kalimantan.
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