Bogor, 23 February 2009. Agroforest farmers at the base of Mount Pangrango have managed to export kidney tea (Orthosiphon spp.) leaves product to France. This is a local initiative that has potential to become a solution to global environment and economy crisis.In a modest ceremony marking the first export of the herb, the farmers with several members of Telapak witnessed a 20 feet container loaded with the herb leaving for the port. The farmers who live in two villages around Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park have been cultivating kidney tea organically since the last two years. The herb, which has been cultivated under the canopy of Bogor rain forests, can thrive under the canopy and it will not either harm the trees or have negative impact on forest ecological function.
Telapak, through its business unit PT. PNU, has been assisting and building the capacity of forest peoples in around West Java in order to achieve an environmentally sound community-based economy initiative. Rina Agustine, one of the managers of PT PNU said,”We have proved that economic initiative can go hand in hand with nature protection.”
PNU also helps marketing the herb in global market. After some initial contacts and sample tests conducted, a deal was signed with L’Herbier du Diosis, a French company that is interested in importing kidney tea leaves from Indonesia, such as those cultivated by agroforest farmers assisted by PT. PNU.
“The export of the herb proves that local farmers can compete in global market. We are calling to herbal-based industry to support this initiative by supplying their herbs from community-based agroforestry!“ said Rina Agustine.
Notes to the Editor
- Telapak is a member-based environmental group based in Bogor.
- PT. PNU is an independent business unit of Telapak that aim to develop a just and environmentally sound community-based enterprises in Indonesia. PT. PNU has bases in Bogor, Bali and Palu.
- PT. PNU has been assisting 450 agro-forest farmers around Gunung Halimun-Salak and Gede-Pangrango National Parks. Those farmers organized in groups develop local economy by cultivating herbs in the forests.
- Kidney Tea (Orthosiphon spp.) is an herb growing abundantly in the tropics like Sumatera, Java and Madura. This herb is well known in Indonesia as a traditional remedy for diabetic, common cold, renal diseases. Kidney tea is also used as a base for modern medicine worldwide.
- L’ Herbier du Diois is a supplier of organic medicinal plants, spices and essential oils for pharmacy industries in France.
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