Asman Arianto Ribang Gayo
أسمان أرينتو جايو
Asman Arianto is originally from Palembang, South Sumatra but has been living and working in Aceh Tengah since 1998. Most of the farmers in Aceh Tengah are migrants. Many of them were evacuated from Sinabung Berastagi in North Sumatra after the long-dormant volcano became continuously active again in 2013.
When he arrived in Aceh, Asman entered the coffee industry and began collecting and processing wet-hulled coffee. He soon switched to collecting cherry and processing as Fully washed, Honey or Natural.
He decided he wanted to build a cooperative to unite coffee farmers. In 2018, Asman formed the Ribang Gayo Musara Cooperative. His goal is to offer competitive prices that can help farmers reinvest in their farms and their families. The cooperative currently has over 350 members who deliver cherry to their processing facility in Pantan Musara.
Almost all farms on Sumatra are small. On average, farms are between 0.5 to 2.5 hectares. Coffee is usually the primary cash crop for farmers, but most also intercrop their trees alongside vegetables, maize and fruit. This intercropped produce will make up a substantial part of the family’s diet for the year.
In addition to growing coffee as a cash crop, many smallholder farmers also work as hired laborers at the nearby tea plantations. Tea is also a huge crop in the area. The bigger tea plantations are often near coffee farms. When the harvest is finished, coffee farmers will go there and pick leaves under contracted labor.
Ribang Gayo Musara is profiting and expanding. Members doubled production yields in just 5 seasons (2016 to 2020). A newly completed cooperative wet-mill will be available for use in the 2020 harvest. While Indonesia is known for its unique ‘Wet Hulled’ Process (Giling Basah), Asman and his team are expanding Indonesia’s coffee possibilities by diversifying the cooperative's processing methods.
Cherry is handpicked on member farms. Upon delivery to the cooperative wet mill, the cherry undergoes a rigorous selection process. Cherry is then pulped using a disc pulper. After pulping, the parchment is laid to dry on raised beds in greenhouses with the mucilage still attached. While it drys, it will be sorted and raked regularly.