Balantara Foundation in Supporting The Development of Salted Gouramis Production to Fund for The Restoration Seedlings in Giam Siak Kecil Bukit Batu, Riau
Belantara Foundation along with LPAD Consortium provides support to the Giam Siak Kecil Bukit Batu (GSK-BB) fishermen group in Sungai Kanal, Temiang Village, Bandar Laksamana district, Bengkalis regency -which is within the grant area of GSK-BB, to help develop salted gourami produce . This initiative is under the umbrella to develop the community’s capacity to utilize NTFP (Non-Timber Forest Products) in managing the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in GKSK-BB. The proceds of the salted gourami fishes sale will be donated to purchase tree seedlings for the forest restoration efforts in the GSK-BB biosphere reserve area.
Within a very short period of time - less than three months, these group of fishermen with nearly 30 members has succeded in producing spiced salt gourami (Tuakang), which is made by the process of drying the gourami fishes with spice for 18 hours. Before receiving support, the fishermen sold wet fishes to the middlemen for a low price. Now, having the drying machine, they are able to sell their fishes for a higher price and besides that, the productivity of making the salted gourami fishes can also reach up to 30 kg per day.
During the period of 3 months, the production of salted gourami has increased, which also affects the income of the fishermen groups. Originally only marketed to the villages, now the production of dried salted gourami is currently being marketed to the city of Pekanbaru to the city of Dumai with the highest selling price of up to Rp. 60,000, - (sixty thousand rupiahs) per pack. Currently salted gouramis are sold in packs of ½ kg to 1 kg with donation deductions of Rp 1,500 to Rp 3,000 per pack, which are used to purchase the GSK-BB biosphere reserve seedlings. This donation information is included on the packaging.
Seeing the market’s enthusiasm in accepting the salted gourami fishes, the future production plan is to develop smoked fish as one of the alternative products of the salted gourami fish. The hope is that as the program continues, beneficiaries will be able to increase the production and have a significant impact on their revenue growth.