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The Development of the Association of Female Aren Sugar Producers ‘Bandrek Karo’ in Langkat Regency

Women's Empowerment Collective

The Relung Indonesia Foundation, in its program for the Development of Aren Sugar Farmer Groups in three buffer villages of the Gunung Leuser National Park, specifically in Langkat Regency, has established the Association of Women Aren Sugar Farmers. The Association of Women Aren Sugar Farmers consists of groups of women who are sugar palm farmers and sugar producers. Women sugar palm farmers often play a significant role in the palm sugar production process, but they often lack recognition and equal access compared to their male counterparts. Therefore, these women’s groups were established to empower women sugar palm farmers and promote gender equality in the palm sugar sector.

Relung Indonesia, in strengthening the Women Aren Sugar Farmers Groups, carries out various activities such as counseling, training, mentoring, and advocacy for the rights of women sugar palm farmers. We also strive to improve women sugar palm farmers’ access to resources such as land, capital, technology, and markets so that they can increase their productivity and welfare. Furthermore, Relung Indonesia also provides knowledge and skills to women sugar producers, such as knowledge about the quality of palm sap, sanitation issues especially in the healthy processing of palm sugar, and other values of palm sugar such as knowledge and skills in making palm sugar granules which are then developed into ‘Karo’ bandrek sugar, the flagship product of the women sugar farmers group in Langkat.

Moreover, the groups that have joined this women’s work association also play an important role in building networks and cooperation between women sugar palm farmers and the government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. This aims to strengthen the position of women sugar palm farmers in the palm sugar value chain and increase their influence in decision-making that affects their livelihoods. Through various activities and collaborative efforts, it is hoped that a more inclusive and just environment for women sugar palm farmers can be created, allowing them to play a more active role in the economic and social development of their communities.


Sunaring Kurniandaru

“We don’t need magic to change our world. We already carry all the power we need inside ourselves.”

-J.K. Rowling

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