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As part of its corporate and social responsibility, APRIL Group establishes partnerships with local communities to provide community empowerment and foster self-reliance.

APRIL implements community development programs in this way to help alleviate poverty and improve quality of life, thereby supporting several of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).

The company runs a Small and Medium (SME) Development Programme, with the aim of supporting local entrepreneurs by providing them with technical and financial expertise.

In 2013, APRIL began running its batik programme (as part of the SME development progammes) in Pelalawan Regency of Riau, Indonesia. Batik, a quintessential Indonesian product, is dip-dyed colourful cloth carrying design motifs. The intricate wax motifs are either drawn on by hand or printed on with copper stamps.

APRIL’s Integrated Farming System (IFS) program aims to develop and improve the skills of small-scale farmers who carry out agricultural activities including horticulture, animal husbandry, and fishing.

The program, which is part of APRIL’s Community Development initiatives, provides farmers with training, facilitation and ongoing technical support, with the primary aim of increasing farmers’ incomes from their agricultural activities.

The IFS program, which began in 1999, currently takes place in Indonesia’s Riau province and involves 2,200 farmers, 119 farmer groups, and 1,632 hectares of land.

In 2017, 167 farmers were trained to cultivate farmland under the program, while 57 farmer groups were supported with agricultural materials. So far, 2,200 households have received support for agricultural materials via the IFS.

Kerinci has grown as a result of APRIL Group's presence

Just over 25 years ago, the town of Kerinci on the Indonesian island of Sumatra was home to just 200 dwellings. There were no roads so the only access was on foot or by boat, and most inhabitants made a living as fishermen or illegal loggers.

Today the town is home to over 100,000 people, it has a small airport and two ports, and its produce is used by millions of consumers in countries around the world.

With few job opportunities when he graduated high school in the Pelalawan Regency of Indonesia’s Riau Province in 1993, Mahyuddin Pasaribu turned to illegal logging.

Along with a small group of local residents he would cut down trees and sell them to wood collectors.

But in 2002 the Indonesian government issued stricter regulations on lumber exports and stepped up enforcement towards illegal deforestation. Two years later Mahyuddin was raided by the Natural Resource Conservation Agency. Some of his equipment was confiscated and his business was closed down.

Determined to find a better way to support his family, he approached APRIL Group subsidiary Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), which was expanding its operations in the area, to look for work.

“I told them that I had not wanted to take wood illegally but that I had resorted to doing so because I needed to feed my family,” he said.

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