Development Programs Based on Local Wisdom Boosting Community’s Incomes
Mangrove crabs (Scylla serrata) commonly called ‘Karaka’ by locals in coastal Mimika Regency is a coastal fishery commodity with significant economic value. In the beginning, the Kamoro tribespeople only caught karaka in the traditional manner in the mangroves along the southern coast. In time following discovery of their high economic value, fishermen hunted and caught the karaka in larger numbers to earn more money. More recently, in light of demand growing by the year from export markets, it has been deemed necessary to initiate extensification of crab aquaculture to preclude scarcity or even extinction of the karaka resulting from unceasing capture.
With this phenomenon in mind and in view of a consistent decline in numbers, quality and size of karaka marketed, PT Freeport Indonesia felt the need to take conservation measures and to maintain the economic potential to bring about more benefits and profit for the community, in particular the Kamoro fishermen.
In line with its commitment to develop communities near the mining area, specifically in the five Daskam coastal villages of Mimika Regency (Nayaro, Koperapoka, Nawaripi, Ayuka and Tipuka), PTFI’s SLD Department by way of its Community Economic Development officially launched a Karaka aquaculture program for the Kamoro tribe, at MP 15 on Tuesday (20/3). The program launching was attended by Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti, Mimika Regency leadership and officials, and representatives from PTFI management.
The strategic goal of developing mangrove crab aquaculture is fulfillment of the company’s commitment to develop a people’s economy among the Kamoro based on local wisdom, through sustainable development of the 3S’s (Sungai, Sampan, Sagu/ Rivers, Sampans, Sago) by cultivation methods potentially promoting a people’s economy while at the same time ensuring conservation of wildlife endemic to Mimika.
In the implementation of this program, since 2006 PTFI has engaged in collaboration to assist communities, primarily in the area of fisheries, under a program to empower fishermen in 14 coastal villages in Mimika. The collaboration involves the Mimika Regency government, Mimika Diocese, USAID, LPMAK, TNI and several foundations, one of which is Crab Ball Indonesia.
Programs are among others in the form of providing facilities and infrastructure for fishermen, development of infrastructure, facilitating access to markets, providing a market, and capacity building. This aquaculture program plays an important role in ensuring program sustainability. In addition to increasing community incomes, it affords a stepping stone towards attaining self-reliance by way of provision of assistance. The proposed implementation of crab aquaculture is part of PTFI’s commitment to development of a people’s economy through outreach and strengthening partnership with the government. (Hendrikus)
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