• “There are many who live in the Pulau Muda Village next to our concession areas. Among them is Pak Acok, who heads the farmers’ group there. Acok and the other farmers used to burn their fields to prepare the soil for planting corn. Not only did this cause smoke and haze which threatened RAPP’s plantations and RER’s natural forest, it also did not result in much income for Acok’s family.

    Every year, Acok would burn more land in an attempt to increase his plantation area and harvest, but it was difficult to control the fires or work the land all on his own - until RER and BIDARA community officers provided him with no slash-and-burn training and 400 chilli seedlings. Within 3 to 4 months, the chilli was ready to harvest and Acok made Rp30 million from sales. He cultivated more land (tripling its original size) and hired several people to maintain it and harvest the chilli. With an increased income, Acok is happy and self-sufficient. He no longer uses fire or threatens plantations or forests. Instead, he sells red chilli which everyone loves.”