How We Achieve Our Vision
Our strategy is to combine the experience that we have in implementing comprehensive water management system that resulted in a sustainable agricultural practice, with cutting-edge scientific studies and strategic partnerships. Through the sound scientific knowledge, we aim to make our organization a well-trusted source of information, and through strategic collaboration with relevant external entities, we see the opportunity to leverage significant change.
The main research ground of Tay Juhana Foundation located within 57,000 hectares of plantation that lies in an intertwined of flatland, lowland, wetland, and peatland in Pulau Burung sub-district of Indragiri Hilir regency in Riau province. The plantation is maintained by Indonesian company, PT Riau Sakti United Plantations (PT RSUP), as a hybrid coconut (Cocos nucifera) plantation since 1985. Situated in the tropical zone with a rainfall of over 2,500mm/year, the climate serves to be conducive for pineapples (Ananas comosus). Seizing this opportunity, part of the plantation has also been converted into sustainable pineapple farm since the early 1990s.
The plantation is equipped with a competently staffed Research and Advisory Laboratory, whom Tay Juhana Foundation often collaborate, to support its research and development efforts in keeping the plantation highly productive through the most environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable manners. In recent years, a patch of experimental multiple cropping project is set around the office area known as the Kilometer 9 (KM9). This area is used to study and observe the ability of other plants to survive and be cultivated in the similar type of lands. So far, dragon fruit, (Hylocereus spp.), Aloe vera, and red onion (Allium cepa) have thrived in KM9. TJF plans to facilitate further on this through research and development project on more essential Indonesian crops including rice (Oryza sativa), corn (Zea mays), and soya bean (Glycine max).
The Water Management Trinity
Although peat soil is fertile and suitable for coconut cultivation, it is highly porous that allows too much water seepage and excessive evaporation which become more serious during the dry seasons. During his days, Mr Tay worked on the water management system to address this challenge in Pulau Burung. It is still being used until now and has been acknowledged as first of its kind in the world.
The combination of a high annual precipitation rate, the existence of Bukit Barisan in western Sumatra, the low and flat characteristics of our lands, and partly due to the way Earth rotates, made our plantation a highly potential area to capture and store freshwater.
The water management trinity is basically capturing and keeping freshwater as a resource, instead of letting it leave back to the ocean. The basis of our comprehensive plantation system largely lies on this inventive water management system. The system comprises of three main components (i.e. the Canals, the Dams and Water Gates, and the Dikes) and it supports three aspects of sustainability including the environmental, economic, and social aspects.
Environmentally, this water management system has been scientifically evident to enable our lands to be fire proof. It ensures our lands to receive the amount of water needed to keep the soil moisturized while slows down land subsidence and abrasion as the dikes and water gates minimize the rain to simply erode the top soil to the sea.
Furthermore, this water management trinity ensures the constant provision of freshwater supply, that is a vital factor for regulating all economic activities in the vicinity, including the ones related to the agricultural development, industrial operation, and human survival. Consequently, it has managed to create direct and indirect employment opportunities. It reflects the social commitment that adds to the environmental and economic functions serves by our water management trinity.
Most importantly, our water management system is proven to support the conversion of suboptimal land into productive land in the most sustainable manner. Cultivating the empty, non-arable land is more economically viable in a long run compared to expanding arable land in a habitable and/or densely-populated area.
The process may require higher initial investments such as initial treatment to make the land less acidic and the basic infrastructure to make the comprehensive system works. However, when one has successfully done it, it can produce a relatively better quality of arable land and requires less capital maintenance expenditure in the long run.