Tag Archives: owa coffee

16Apr/23

The Ecosystem Services behind Mendolo’s Coffee

By Sidiq Harjanto, translated by T.T.Chan

The rufous piculet, perched on in Mendolo agro-forest coffee

Pekalongan Regency is one of the regions in Central Java Province known for coffee production. According to the Indonesian Plantation Statistics 2020-2022 data released by the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture’s Directorate General of Plantations, the output of robusta coffee from smallholders in Pekalongan was at 372 tonnes, involving a total of 1,650 farmers on 483 ha of land. That of arabica coffee, on the other hand, was at 100 tonnes from 857 farmers on 198 ha.

In terms of total volume, Pekalongan produces far less robusta beans than the neighbouring regencies of Temanggung (9,761 tonnes), Kudus (1,594 tonnes), and Banjarnegara (1,570 tonnes). This significant difference in figures is due in part to the area of land and number of farmers involved in growing coffee. However, Pekalongan performs quite well on productivity per hectare at 823 kg/ha, which is above the national average of 817 kg/ha. That said, these figures are still a far cry from Vietnam’s 2,300 kg/ha.

Mendolo is a village in Pekalongan where livelihoods largely depend on coffee produced through the agroforestry system. In order to enhance the value of coffee beans grown by local farmers, the Mendolo Young Farmers’ Association (PPM Mendolo) now grind these, which they market under the brand ‘Kopi Batir’. The Kopi Batir brand also offers roasting services to locals who want to enjoy coffee from their village’s plantations without having to do the roasting themselves.

Last year, this coffee business produced around 700 kgs of premium quality coffee, sold in the form of ground coffee or green beans. While this amount still pales in comparison to the volume of coffee beans from this village sold as cherries or sent out without sorting, the production capacity of this business continues to increase year by year.

In fact, Kopi Batir roasted more than one tonne of coffee beans in 2022. M. Ridholah is the man behind this remarkable initiative that has revived his fellow villagers’ interest in drinking their own coffee. Only equipped with a simple self-assembled roaster machine, he has helped to place Kopi Batir at the forefront of steering consumption trends away from factory coffee and towards locally grown coffee.

A Small Step in a Promising Direction

Creating the optimal coffee plantation requires knowledge of and experience in land preparation, fertilisation, pruning, pest control and a well-thought-out harvesting process. In addition, coffee growers need to understand the ways in which their crop interacts with the natural environment – how their productivity could be influenced by ecosystem services, for example.

On 18 March 2023, as part of our ‘Mendolo Coffee Meet’ event, SwaraOwa/Owa Coffee invited PPM Mendolo and representatives of coffee growers to work out how coffee cultivation in Mendolo could be done in a way that reflects greater ecological awareness. Our hope was to come up with a set of improved practices that would allow the natural environment to thrive and provide farmers with ecosystem services in order to boost their income.

a tailor foraging for food on a flowering coffee tree

Biodiversity is an integral part of agroforestry plantations and has the potential to be a positive influence on the crops grown there. Chain-Guadarrama et al., in a 2019 article ‘Ecosystem services by birds and bees to coffee in a changing climate: A review of coffee berry borer control and pollination‘, state that birds and bees are two types of fauna that play a key role in coffee cultivation. Many bird species prey on insects and are therefore indispensable as ecological pest-control agents. Remove these birds and the insect population could explode, resulting in direct losses for farmers.

To ensure that birds can fulfil their role in the ecosystem, they must first be protected and allowed to live freely in the wild. Next, birds also need suitable habitat. Agroforestry or intercropping could provide this as they ensure that a variety of vegetation layers and types are present, thereby increasing opportunities for birds to find food and places to nest.

beekeeping in the agro-forest coffee is perfect combination in Mendolo

wildlife photography, as a medium to increase appreciation of biodiversity in Mendolo Agro-forest

Bees, on the other hand, help to pollinate coffee plants. Robusta coffee requires cross pollination, which is done by the wind and insects. Arabica coffee differs in being able to self-pollinate, but insect-mediated pollination has been proven to increase the quality and quantity of the crop. Therefore, bees have the potential to boost Arabica coffee yields.

There are numerous species of bee worldwide, including dozens of types of honey bee, hundreds of stingless bees (klancèng), and thousands of solitary bees. Each type has its own distribution and occupies different habitats. Which species of bees are beneficial for coffee and what type of habitat they need are issues that still require a lot of research.

Fully leveraging various bee species as pollinating agents necessitates the protection of their habitat, avoiding the use of pesticides and integrating beekeeping into spaces used for agriculture. In Mendolo, stingless bee husbandry has been practised since 2017. Aside from producing honey that could generate more income for locals, beekeeping in Mendolo also allows farmers to reap the benefits of the ecosystem services provided by bees, which both increase agricultural productivity and improve the sustainability of the forest.

Although the benefits agriculture stands to gain from ecosystem services are undeniable, our focus group discussions have revealed that much hard work is still needed to convince farmers to adopt bird and bee-friendly practices. More research needs to be done on the role of birds in keeping agricultural pest populations under control, and how these ecological services can best be harnessed. Likewise with bee pollination services, the ideal way of integrating beekeeping with agroforestry still remains to be found.

PPM Mendolo will spearhead participatory research to explore the roles of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Mendolo agroforestry system. They will also continue spreading awareness about the ecological roles of birds and bees. Given the community’s reliance on agriculture, Mendolo needs to be encouraged to become a village that cares about biodiversity. For this to be achieved, Mendolo and villages like it need to first have comprehensive data on their biodiversity.

We sincerely applaud PPM Mendolo for their pioneering work in pushing for innovation in agroforestry and raising awareness of how important biodiversity is to the local community. At our ‘Mendolo Coffee Meet’ event, SwaraOwa presented a roasting machine with a capacity of 1 kg to Batir Coffee. It was our token of appreciation to them for their hard work in developing coffee delights in Mendolo, as well as to PPM Mendolo for their efforts to encourage conservation in the village, including of the Javan gibbon and Javan slow loris.

 

16Apr/23

The Mendolo Coffee Meet and the Role of Women in the Coffee Tradition

By Sidiq Harjanto, translated by T.T. Chan

traditional coffee processing in Mendolo

On 18 and 19 March 2023, SwaraOwa/ KopiOwa partnered with PPM Mendolo to organise the ‘Mendolo Coffee Meet’ event. We had three items on our agenda – roasting coffee together, discussing the relevance of biodiversity to women involved in coffee agroforestry in Mendolo Village, and taking local children birdwatching. The first two are the subject of this post.

On the first day of the event, we invited women to explain the nitty-gritty of coffee-related customs in Mendolo, particularly the art of coffee roasting. We likewise engaged women of different ages in discussions about the role women in the village have to play in coffee agroforestry.

Various methods of roasting coffee

Traditional coffee roasting in Mendolo

Coffee has become an integral part of the Mendolo community’s fabric. For locals, coffee is a constantly recurring theme in daily life, being drunk in the morning before they head to the plantations and again in the evening when gathering with family. There is even a special type of coffee called “kopi jembawuk” that is reserved for specific rituals. This coffee is brewed with coconut milk and sweetened with palm sugar.

In recent times, coffee has evolved into a commodity not only consumed locally by the Mendolo community, but also sold beyond the village.

In Mendolo, everyone has their own taste in coffee. While some villagers enjoy plain coffee, others prefer further ingredients being added to their beans during the roasting process. The most common of these ingredients is white rice, as it is said that adding it helps reduce the bitterness of dark roasted coffee beans.

Some locals also add slices of coconut during roasting in a process known locally as ‘nglamir’. Its fans claim that coconut slices bring out a savoury taste in the beans. However, coconut slices are not as commonly used as rice, as the former makes the coffee powder less durable and more prone to turning rancid. For this reason, mixing coconut with coffee is usually done only on special occasions.

The tools used for coffee roasting are relatively simple, comprising a clay or metal pan, a stirring rod or spatula, a sieve and a wooden or gas stove. To start off the roasting process, the pan is heated for about five minutes. Once it is hot enough, approximately 500 g of raw coffee beans are added in, and then stirred continuously using the stirring rod or spatula.

Throughout, these coffee-roasting women closely observe every change in colour, shape and aroma that the coffee beans undergo. As soon as the beans crack and take on a brownish hue, they turn down the heat. The coffee is stirred continuously for as long as it takes to yield the taste that best suits each individual’s preferences. The whole process takes about 20 minutes. Once fully roasted, the coffee is cooled off on a sieve.  The next step is grinding. It involves using a mortar and pestle to crush the beans, which are then passed through a sieve to obtain relatively fine coffee powder.

The Role of Women in the Coffee Tradition

Activities Male Female Equipment

Coffee Land management activities

Land preparation +++ + Hue, sickle
Making plating hole +++ + Hue, wooden for making hole
Coffee planting +++ + Hue
Weeding +++ ++ Sickle, hue
Pruning +++
Grafting +++ Grafter knife
Harvesting ++ ++ bags

Post harvest activities

Coffee pulping ++ ++ Pulper, basket
Drying + +++ Drying sheet
Hulling ++ ++ Rice mill ( Male), Pounder (Female)
Coffee bean sortation +++ Round Bamboo Tray
Coffee Roasting +++ Frying pan, stove, tray
Coffee Pounding +++ Pounder, sieve, basket

Gender contribution in the coffee management chain

In his 1982 book Gender, Ivan Illich argues that the term ‘gender’ does not only denote the difference in sex between males and females, but also refers to the various differences in their social life. These differences include the types of work they do, the tools they employ, their language use and understanding of space-time.

Our focus group discussions revealed that while men and women contribute roughly equally to the coffee supply chain in Mendolo, their roles in it differ noticeably. For instance, men tend to be more involved in managing the coffee plantations, while women play a larger role in post-harvest activities typically carried out around their homes.

Some tasks are gender-specific, such as pruning and grafting, which have traditionally been done only by men. On the other hand, coffee roasting is a skilled role mainly reserved for women, who roast coffee mainly for their own family’s needs and occasionally also those of their neighbours.

Just as Illich stated, differences in the type of work done by each gender imply differences in tools. In this vein, the distinct roles of each gender in the coffee supply chain result in each gender having a different set of tools. Grafting knives are tools exclusively used by men, while mortar and pestle are closely associated with women.

As coffee roasting is a skill specific to the women of the community, we were eager to explore it further. It was noteworthy that among the women present, those who possessed the skill were almost all above 40 years of age.

As the skill is no longer being acquired by the younger generation, Mendolo’s tradition of coffee roasting may soon disappear with the women at our event. To make matters worse, our changing times have also seen a rapidly growing preference to buy factory-packaged coffee. We therefore need to act fast if we are not to lose the art of coffee roasting that Mendolo’s womenfolk are such consummate masters of.

Returning to Illich’s perspective, each gender complements the other in their different roles; the maintenance of everybody’s way of life depends on mutual reciprocity between the genders. It is crucial to realise this so that the balance of roles is perpetuated and women do not experience discriminatory treatment.

Presidential Decree No. 29 of 2000 on Mainstreaming Gender in National Development has put gender issues and upholding the dignity of women firmly on Indonesia’s national agenda.

Just as gender issues are crucial to Indonesia’s national development, so too the role of women needs to be strengthened in efforts to conserve nature. Many studies have in fact shown that involvement of women increases the success rate of conservation initiatives.

Now how do we find the thread that links greater agency for women to the conservation of Javan gibbons and their forests that are also home to various other wildlife? In Mendolo, SwaraOwa endeavours to engage local women through programmes focussing on local food production and stingless bee husbandry. We believe that it is only when women are closely involved in local food production and have alternative sources of income that the pressure human communities exert on forests can be reduced. In other words, developing sustainable livelihoods for women and equipping them with knowledge about forests is key to the success of conservation.

This field report, as part of swaraowa’s coffee and primate conservation project 2023, supported by Mandai Nature , Fortwayne Children’s Zoo and Ostrava Zoo.

 

28Aug/21

Fabric Scraps for Conservation

“This patchwork tote bag is made of fabric scraps from the garment industry in Pekalongan. Sokokembang is a hamlet in Pekalongan located right next to forests that are home to the Javan Gibbon. Some residents there sew at home for a living or work at a textile factory. SwaraOwa are currently helping several residents in Sokokembang to transform leftover fabrics and discarded materials from the garment industry into useful recycled products. Not only does this contribute to their livelihoods, it also reduces plastic waste and promotes the conservation of the Javan Gibbon.”

The garment industry is one of the foremost drivers of the local economy in Pekalongan. From the city, the textile supply chain stretches all the way to even the most remote villages near the forest. It all starts with cutting fabrics, sewing, attaching buttons and zips, then moves on to screen printing and colouring, sometimes using traditional batik-producing techniques that have been passed down through the generations.

In Sokokembang, one of the hamlets closest to the gibbon forests in the area, activities powering the garment economy are very much present, and have been at least since we first visited in 2006. Such activities form the main source of livelihood for 45% of families here, who contribute to the apparel supply chain by sewing parts of clothing. Other villagers grow various crops or rear livestock in their gardens and the forest. From when we started our projects in Sokokembang up until 2014, villagers engaged in sewing did not do this work at home, instead using the sewing machines and materials at their employer’s place. They worked most days, only having Fridays off.

Garment workers are crucial to the local economy, sustaining those who live around the forest. However, because of the nature of their work, they are generally not as intimately familiar with forest trees and animals as those villagers who enter the forest more frequently. They sometimes even describe Javan Gibbons as having tails! Gibbons, after all, are rarely seen. What these workers do know well is how gibbon calls sound, because these can be heard loud and clear every morning.

Noticing this, the Indonesian wildgibbon team braved the pandemic and tried to find ways of connecting gibbons to garment manufacturing, the sector that provides much of the jobs in Pekalongan. Seeing leftover scraps of fabric everywhere, mostly wasted, the team tried to bring Sokokembang hamlet a solution to this problem.

The solution came in the form of cloth bags. Making them involves villagers who already sew for a living. They form patterns using unwanted fabric scraps and connect them into a highly practical multi-purpose bag. This process is relatively uncomplicated and can be done on the sidelines of everyday sewing. To get the younger generation involved in Sokokembang, they were briefly trained by residents who were already proficient in sewing. After being given the finishing touches by the wildgibbon team, the bags look as illustrated, bearing the logos of Owa Coffee and Sokokembang.

At SwaraOwa, we firmly believe that conservation projects cannot succeed without being made to benefit local communities. Although not without its challenges, this project is just such an attempt to marry conservation activities with fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among locals — all proceeds will go towards supporting forests and livelihoods. By closely collaborating with the locals, we aim to make protecting nature and boosting the local economy one and the same cause, and hope that making conservation pay will encourage further conservation activities in the region and beyond.

 

written by : Elna Novitasari Br.Ginting dan Arif Setiawan, translated by TT Chan

11Dec/20

Nyanyian Owa Jawa : diva di tengah rimba

Oleh : Nur Aoliya , email :  [email protected]

Owa jawa (Hylobates moloch) di hutan Sokokembang, Petungkriyono

 “Emang ada Owa Jawa di Pekalongan?” itu pertanyaan pertama saya saat mendengar program konservasi owa jawa oleh Coffee and Primate Conservation Project atau sekarang lebih dikenal SwaraOwa  di desa sukokembang, kecamatan petungkriyono kabupaten pekalongan tahun 2014. Sampai sekarang tahun 2020 masih ada orang yang mempertanyakan akan hal itu, bahkan orang pekalongan sendiri ada yang tidak tahu kalo ada Owa Jawa di Pekalongan.

Salah satu yang unik dari owa adalah suara atau nyanyiannya, bak sebuah lagu. Baik owa betina maupun jantan dapat bersuara, namun waktu dan tipe suaranya berbeda. Owa jantan cenderung bersuara sebelum fajar sedangkan Owa betina cenderung bersuara setelah terang dan kadang siang hari. Jenis-jenis owa menghasilkan  nyanyian lagu yang keras dan panjang yang sebagian besar dipamerkan oleh pasangan yang telah kawin. Biasanya, pasangan menggabungkan nyanyian ini  (repertoire) dalam interaksi vokal, tepat waktu, dan kompleks untuk menghasilkan  pola duet yang baik.1

Perbedaan waktu bersuara Owa Jawa ini, kenapa seperti itu juga belum banyak yang meneliti. Di dunia hanya Owa dari Jawa dan Owa dari Mentawai dimana antara jantan dan betina tidak menyanyi bersama.

Sonogram , visualisasi suara owa jawa

Lebih menarik lagi suara yang dinyanyikan owa betina pada pagi hari yang disebut great call, karena suaranya sangat khas. Suaranya dimulai dengan suara “waa” dengan interval lambat yang semakin cepat sampai ke lengkingan panjang dan diakkhiri dengan interval yang semakin melambat.  Mungkin karena itulah satwa ini lebih dikenal sebagai owa-owa/ uwek-uwek karena suarnya terdengar melafalkan kata tersebut. Suara betina selain khas juga memiliki peranan sangat penting, yaitu sebagai tanda daerah teritorinya. Setiap kelompok owa memiliki area yang digunakan sebagai tempat mencari makan, istirahat, reproduksi, dan segala aktifitasnya. Area tersebut akan dijaga dan tidak akan mengijinkan owa dari kelompok lain untuk memasuki area mereka. Tugas owa betina ini menyiarkan batas-batas areanya melalui suaranya tiap pagi.

Lantas bagaimana owa tau bahwa ini suara betina yang mana? Dan dari kelompok mana? ini menjadi daya tarik saya untuk mepelajari variasi great call owa di sokokembang sebagai skripsi yang didukung oleh Swaraowa. Ternyata setelah saya mempelajari lebih lanjut baik secara literature maupun penelitian langsung setiap suara betina ini memiliki perbedaan. Perbedaanya dapat kita lihat dengan cara memvisualisasikan suara nyanyiannya, dan perbedaan yang utama  dari nadanya, durasinya dan frekuensinya (lihat gambar dan video). Seperti suara manusia yang berbeda-beda sehingga kita bisa membedakan manusia hanya dari suaranya tanpa melihat wujudnya kan? owa jawa juga begitu.

Saat ada satu betina yang bersuara maka akan memancing betina lain akan bersuara.  Antar betina yang beda kelompok tidak akan bersuara bersamaan alias bergantian, agar pesan  masing-masing kelompok tersampaikan. Biasanya betina remaja akan belajar bersuara bersama induk betinanya, tapi kadang suaranya masih nanggung atau tidak seharmoni induknya. Owa tidak akan bersuara saat hujan atau malam harinya hujan. Soalnya suaranya akan lebih sulit terdengar oleh kelompok lain dan butuh energi lebih saat hujan.  Jadi dari pada energi terbuang sia-sia untuk bersuara lebih baik digunakan untuk menghangatkan badan. Sama seperti kita kalo hujan juga penginya rebahan ajah, tidak  buang-buang energi.

Demikianlah sebagian fakta unik tentang owa jawa. Mudah-mudahan owa jawa dimanapun khususnya di Petungkriyono akan tetap lestari,  owa membantu regenerasi alami pohon-pohon alam, kita butuh hutan  dan owa jawa sebegai satu kesatuan, menikmati udara segar, air sungai yang deras dan jernih, sumber ekonomi dan  ilmu pengetahuan  yang harus kita rawat dan kelola dengan bijaksana. Menikmati nyanyiannya di hutan setidaknya akan memberikan rasa kedamaian diantara riuhnya suara-suara gemuruh pembangungan anthroposentris , nyanyian Owa seperti diva di tengah belatara, yang menunjukkan bahwa hutan tempat hidupnya masih terjaga. Melestarikan owa jawa dan hutan sama sajah menjamin kehidupan untuk manusia generasi selanjutnya.

 

Daftar Pustaka

  1. Geissmann, T. dan V. Nijman. 2001. Calling Behaviour of Wild Javan Gibbons Hylobates moloch In Java, Indonesia dalam Forest (and) Primates. Conservation and ecology of the endemic primates of Java and Borneo. Tropenbos Kalimantan Series
02Nov/20

Beasiswa KOPI OWA

Program “Kopi dan Konservasi Primata 2020 -SWARAOWA, mengajak anda berkontribusi melalui pembelian Kopi “jungle bean” dari habitat Owa Jawa, seharga Rp 120.000,00 anda akan mendapatkan 2 bungkus kopi Arabica dan Robusta. Keuntungan penjualan kopi ini akan di gunakan untuk biasiswa penelitian Owa jawa dan burung Raja Udang Kalung Biru, di Hutan Petungkriyono,Kab.Pekalongan, Jawa Tengah.

Owa jawa (Hylobates moloch)

Saat ini ada 2 mahasiswa yang akan melakukan penelitian tentang perilaku bersuara Owa Jawa (Hylobates moloch), dan Distribusi dan habitat burung Raja Udang Kalung biru (Alcedo euryzona). Tentang burung Raja Udang Kalung Biru ini merupakan burung langka terancam punah (Critically Endangered) yang di temukan tahun 2018 oleh tim SWARAOWA.

Javan Blue Banded Kingfisher

Pembelian kopi ini juga menjaga produksi kopi Owa di masa pandemic, dimana sangat terdampak karena tutupnya outlet-outlet/coffee shop jaringan kopi Owa saat ini. Dukungan anda sangat penting tidak hanya untuk mendukung penelitian satwa terancam punah tetapi juga mondorong warga sekitar hutan untuk tetap produktif dan menjaga kelestarian hutan.

kopi owa “Jungle Beans”

Sampai bulan Desember 2020, penelitian ini membutuhkan dana kurang lebih Rp 30.000.000,00 (tiga puluh juta rupiah) dan saat ini sudah ada dana Rp 10.000.000,00 (sepuluh juta rupiah) untuk kegiatan kelapangan bulan September-November 2020. Penggalangan dana ini akan kami buka sampai akhir bulan November 2020, dan juga akan menjadi sekema berkelanjutan untuk upaya pelestarian primata dan burung langka di wilayah Jawa Tengah. Ikuti terus perkembangan kegiatan kami di sosial media SWARAOWA.
Pembelian bisa kopi kami layani melalui OWA COFFEE, no WA : 0823 1377 2667, Instagram dan twitter Owa Coffee, juga tokopedia : https://www.tokopedia.com/owacoffee