This year PT Inti Indosawit Subur-Ukui, a subsidiary of Asian Agri, along with Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) founded by Sukanto Tanoto, the Pelalawan government and the Institut Pertanian Bogor Alumni Association (IPB) have worked together to teach farmers and smallholders of the Hulu sub district village, Silikuan Ukui, about catfish cultivation as a means of independent alternative income during the palm oil replantation period. The plantation period of palm oil trees takes between three to four years before the plants start yielding fruit, during which workers as well as smallholders usually have no reliable means to generate an income.
Asian Agri has had great success in previous years with similar programmes such as cow and goat farming, oyster farming, and mushroom farming in other villages.
This programme consists of basic exposure to Marketing, technical discussions, learning how to provide an appropriate environment for the catfish, and physically interacting and working with them. Participants will also be provided with a technical briefing about post-harvesting, as the community will be replanting their palm oil plantations in the near future.
The intention of the programme is that catfish cultivation will be able to provide locals with an independent income during the growing period of the new palms, and also as a way of permanently diversifying and expanding the economy of their community. The programme will be synergized with the department of fishing, who fully support the agenda.
According to IR Tengku Wahidudin, the head of Fisheries and Marine Life of Pelalawan, the training program provided to Ukui was informative and well executed. He stated that the Fisheries and Marine Life heartily welcomes the training event and that they are proud of the initiative of all those involved in putting it together. “This activity supports the government’s program to increase production to increase the consumption of fish. I hope this training could be applied by the participants. Hopefully fish production can be increased.”- IR Tengku Wahidudin.