As a significant economic force in Riau province and a major employer in Pangkalan Kerinci, we readily embrace our responsibility to not just be good corporate citizen, but to foster economically viable communities.
Key figures from 1999 to 2014:
A significant element in sustainable development is achieving positive outcomes for those around us. This translates into establishing infrastructure and developing the community’s ability to transition to economic independence with practical knowledge and livelihood skills, supporting local schools and local cultural activities.
Beyond its role as a direct employer, APRIL Group creates various sources of income for community members and offers necessary training and materials to assist community members to supporting their livelihood. Our main development programmes include:
THE INTEGRATED FARMING SYSTEM (IFS)
IFS aim to improve the skills of community farmers through agricultural initiatives such as horticulture, plantation, animal husbandry, fishers and paddy planting development. APRIL Group provides training, facilitation and ongoing technical support to farmers.
The program initially began with 170 hectares of village farmland and now covers 2,439 hectares. From 1999-2014:
FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD OF 2013-2014:
- IFS covers 2,357* hectares of village farmland.
- 3,236* households have received support for agricultural materials.
- 387* farmers have received training and cultivated 2,357* hectares through our IFS programme and training centres.
- 3* training centres are established and managed to deliver technical and practical knowledge to local farmers. In the program’s development, we donated 2* training centres to local district government and we continue to manage one training center.
COMMUNITY FORESTS (HUTAN TANAMAN RAKYAT) AND LIVELIHOOD PLANTATIONS (TANAMAN KEHIDUPAN)
Lacking in necessary licenses and approvals, landowners might otherwise be driven to illegal logging. The Community Fiber Farm programme fosters partnerships with landowners in the community to establish their own Acacia plantations. APRIL Group provides financing or assistance in securing financing, seedlings, and fertilizers; and maintains the plantations.
- 24,954* hectares are dedicated for community use on Community Forest and Livelihood Plantation schemes.
APRIL Group launched its SME development program with the objective of providing aspiring entrepreneurs with technical and financial expertise. The SME program is targeted at businesses that directly support company operations, as well as businesses not related to APRIL Group.
- APRIL Group has hired and supported 208* entrepreneurs to provide services to directly support its operations.
- We have created more than 2,528* consequential jobs.
CASE STUDY - Entrepreneurs:
Sulaiman and Muhammad Sarkawi were both born and raised in Kerinci. Today, both have their own businesses. Sulaiman is 38 years old and supplies coco peat, which is used as a soil bed for the leaf cuttings prepared in Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper’s (RAPP) nurseries.
Muhammad Sarkawi, aged 31, manages the manpower agency that he inherited from his father who participated in the SME program. His business supplies contract workers for companies based in Kerinci. Both businessmen are beneficiaries of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) programme that supports entrepreneurial community members who want to establish their own small-scale business.
“Setting up your own business is not easy but when you have a guaranteed contract, it gives a certain peace of mind,” says Muhammad Sarkawi, a father of three children. Awi’s agency provides manpower for companies like RAPP – from janitors to plantation labourers.
“With a small loan from the program as well as technical support and know-how, I was able to build a small company,” explains Sulaiman, a father of two young children.
“RAPP is also my key customer, which guarantees sales and revenues for my company. The training and knowledge of what goes into the making of coco peat is also important to get a grasp of, as on my own, I wouldn’t know and the company has very specific requirements.”
The SME programmes facilitate the development of small businesses in rural areas, providing vocational training and the promotion of microfinance. It is an inter-dependent partnership that fuels economic growth in the township.
When Zulman first joined the SME program in 2002, the Pangkalan Kerinci regency resident started with plantation harvesting services and pallet making exclusively for PT. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper, the operations unit of APRIL Group.
“My long-term plan was to expand the business to other clients as Riau has ample potential,” he said.
Aside from business skills coaching, the company facilitated his loan process with a national bank to enable Zulman procure five excavator units for his harvesting service business.
By 2008, the business had expanded rapidly with more than 20 employees and Zulman moved to the provincial city Pekanbaru to better accommodate his expanding client base that are located in several regencies in Riau province.