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 longdormant
continuously active again in 2013. Asman sold various items during the
time he lived in Palembang, but he was interested in coffee production.
So, 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.
The benefits for cooperative members are threefold. First, they get higher prices for their cherry when they sell to the cooperative. Second, as cooperative members, they receive
end-of-season ‘second payment’ premiums that share a portion of profits earned for higher-quality lots. In 2019, that premium was 500 Rupiah
per kilogram. Finally, the cooperative
provides training and outreach for farmers in everything from cultivation
to processing. 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.
Cherry is handpicked on member
farms. Upon delivery to the cooperative wet mill, the cherry undergoes a rigorous selection process. Cherry is then laid to dry on
raised beds in greenhouses.