Coconut trees are native to the land of Indonesia. Every child in our country knows that every part of this tree, from roots to leaves are beneficial. Not only
are they advantageous for household uses, but their
presence advances the environment.
Unfortunately, their presence has diminished drastically from Indonesia’s landscape due to synthetically driven change in consumer behavior and an economy prioritizing on mass produced oil, i.e. palm oil that has contributed to the massive environmental degradation. These have come with a hefty price tag to human lives. Many studies have shown that palm oil caused various kinds of degenerative diseases (Panggabean, L.S., 2016)
On the contrary, coconut oil provides many significant benefits to human health and shows high efficacy in helping to cure Alzheimer, liver, auto-immune, and many other degenerative diseases. Coconut plantation will also benefit the environment as it is self-sustaining as it can grow brand new palm trees with minimum care. Coconut trees grow high off the ground, which means farmers can plant complementary crops like corn, bananas, cacao, and coffee right under them. Coconut trees do not need fertilizers or any synthetics that damage their soil. Coconut husks have been used to keep moisture in the soil, and even help their trees produce more and better coconuts.
The First Step: Start with documenting our heritage
In light of this, Project Gemi has planned to document the many talents of Indonesian women who were used to master the skill of oil-making in various villages in Yogyakarta. This skill is very unique and time-tested as it requires a sense of acute smell to identify whether or not the oil is well-cooked, the patience to carry the task – as it is a slow-cooking process, and above all, the knowledge to identify appropriate aged coconut kernels suitable for oil-making.
These women would be then our living heritage to revive the most humble yet important ingredient in human dishes, oil. They will be the ones who will give the most crucial contribution to the whole production process, hence creating their own employment and the trainers for future generations of producers. We hope to create sustainable economic development through this endeavor.