A number of farmers in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan, are processing kratom leaves into crumbs that are ready for sale.

The kratom plant (Mitragyna speciosa) is known as a magical leaf from Kalimantan which is a major export commodity with the United States as its main consumer. Reporting from dw.com, kratom plants are found in the interior of Kalimantan and have been consumed for centuries in Southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea. The demand for kratom continues to increase until many farmers in Kalimantan switch to planting kratom. Here are the facts from kratom farmers in Kalimantan:

1. 90 percent of kratom farmers Sambus Village is the largest kratom producing area in Kapuas Hulu.

Of the 278 family heads or around 800 people, 90 percent are kratom farmers. Residents of Sambus even cultivate kratom in their yard or become helpers when harvesting kratom leaves. The planting period is relatively fast, making many residents switch to plant kratom. Kratom plants are ready to harvest after 6-9 months, with harvest cycles every 30-40 days. For quality growth, kratom itself does not require complicated care.

2. Growing kratom since the price of rubber dropped

Muliadi and Gusti Prabu are kratom farmers in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. Gusti Prabu himself also consumed kratom plants and claimed that he had never had negative side effects. According to him, this plant can be used to help eliminate drug addiction and detoxification. Sumantri (32), a kratom farmer from Nanga Sambus Village, North Putussibau District, Kapuas Hulu Regency, claimed to have planted kratom since 2018 when the price of rubber dropped. “We started actively growing kratom after the price of rubber dropped,” he explained. He first planted kratom in a 2-hectare land with 2000 kratom stems. To grow kratom, farmers simply provide organic fertilizer and regularly tidy the grass. The rest is left just like that. “(Kratom) obviously produces faster than rubber. If there is no obstacle, 6 months after it is planted it can harvest,” he explained.

3. Raise the economy of citizens

Sumantri, a kratom farmer, said that since switching to kratom, the economy of Sambus residents has improved. For farmers who have been around long enough, they can make tens of millions of rupiah in one harvest. Profits are not only enjoyed by landowners. Yang village youth has not worked or housewives also felt the impact. They are employed to harvest kratom leaves for a fee of Rp 2,000 for each kilogram of the leaf. In a day, at least one worker is able to harvest 50 kilograms of wet kratom leaves. While during processing, workers are paid an average of Rp 80,000-100,000 per day. “For harvesters and processing workers, on average they get Rp 100,000 per day,” he said.

4. Transfer of land functions

Uju Bas, one of the farmers said that many landowners who previously managed rice or rubber are now turning to kratom. Moreover, rubber prices have not seen an increase. “On average some of the land (rice or rubber) is planted with kratom. In fact, if there is a little vacant land in the yard there is kratom,” he said. The same thing was also explained by Gusti Prabu. As a kratom farmer, he is currently able to export kratom up to 10 tons per month. For quality growth, kratom itself does not require extraordinary care. Enough to provide organic fertilizer and regularly tidy up the grass. Reporting from dw.com, in 2017 kratom exports had dropped due to bad weather and fear of salmonella. But since last year, kratom exports have strengthened again. “The Kratom market has been very good over the past decade and still has potential in the coming years,” explained Prabu, a Kratom farmer. “People will see the benefits, sooner or later,” Prabu added.

5. 90 percent sent to the United States Pontianak is the main kratom trading post in Pontianak Data from the main post office, in 2016, shows that the region sends around 400 tons abroad each month, which has a value of around 130 million US dollars per year. According to the American Kratom Association, as many as five million Americans use kratom and the number continues to grow. Customers usually get kratom through online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram,and Ali Baba’s online store. “About 90 percent of our shipments from the province of West Kalimantan is kratom sold to the United States,” said post office chief Zaenal Hamid.

This article has been published on Kompas.com with the title “Facts of Kratom Farmers in Kalimantan, Starting When Rubber Prices Drop to Lift the Economy”, https://regional.kompas.com/read/2019/09/04/12410061/fakta-petani -kratom-in-Kalimantan-begins-when-prices-rubber-plummeted-until? page = all.

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