Kaimana Regent, Freddy Thie, supported the draft of Regional Bylaw on the Sasi Pala (local wisdom to protect nutmeg). However, he doubted the nutmeg growers’ commitment and serious intention in Kaimana Regency.
The statement was said by Freddy upon welcoming the journalists visit at his office on Tuesday, 15 March 2022.
“If it is the community aspiration, I as the Regent and on behalf of the local government will surely provide backup. But if we have agreed on it, the commitment should work. The question now is whether or not the government needs to issue a regulation?” Freddy wondered.
The local conservation model for nutmeg is something new since people has so far been more familiar with sasi for ocean. However, as to Freddy, the community should have their own commitment to crop nutmegs when they are completely ripened.
“Once I asked the Village Head of Manggera about the possible sanction if he fails to commit with nutmeg sasi. There must be a sanction to make people respect. So, never just think about image branding. Do not sell the issue but after that it is to no avail or never works,” he said.
According to Freddy, nutmeg is the fitting commodity to Kaimana, particularly to the people in Arguni Bawah and Buruwai Districts. The climate in Kaimana is similar to that of in Fakfak which is suitable for nutmeg commodity.
“I used to be nutmeg trader. The problem in Kaimana is the post-harvest quality. The community harvest in a rush despite the unripe state yet. The matured nutmeg is black in color. We sell them in Surabaya and the buyer asked whereabout the nutmeg came from. If we reply it from Fakfak, the price is good. But if it is from Kaimana, the price drops, because Fakfak nutmeg has better quality,” said Freddy.
As to Freddy, not only color matters, but wet nutmeg can also be identified when we touch the sack. If the sack is hot, it means the nutmeg is really dry. “But when we touch the sack it does not feel hot, the nutmeg is surely dry,” he added.
Freddy remembered the so-called a million nutmeg program launched by the first Regent of Kaimana, Hasan Achmad Aituarauw, in 2003. “The program is very good and sides with the community. If the program ran well, we now could see the people’s welfare. But, because of lacking of supervision, the results are not optimum,” he explained.
He then challenged the heads of villages to allocate around Rp5 million from village fund for nutmeg seeds. “Do not think about infrastructure, but rather on the people’s tummies. They do not need much money. If the village fund allocates Rp5 million for nutmeg seeds, it will be very helpful,” he said.
Freddy explained that the price of 1 kilogram of dried nutmeg is around Rp40,000. If the Rp5 million fund for nutmeg seeds is used to afford dried nutmeg, it could afford 125 kilograms of nutmeg. “If a kilogram contains 50 pieces, it will get 6,250 pieces. If one village consists of 100 families, then the 6,250 pieces are divided into 100 families and each family will get 62 seeds of nutmeg,” he said.
Freddy said the nutmeg production in Kaimana actually is larger than that of in Fakfak. To date, Kaimana Regency Government focuses on the production of nutmeg. But he also expected public supports. “The support is not merely from the Regional Budget, but also from village fund and thus the public should take it into their consideration,” he added.
Freddy hoped that the quality of nutmeg in Kaiman will improve with the cooperation involving various parties. “Hopefully EcoNusa will provide facilitation and there is positive commitment from the community. The quality of Kaimana nutmeg will be improved in the future,” said Freddy.
Editor: Leo Wahyudi, Lutfy Putra, Nur Alfiyah