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Research And Development: Rahmadi

Growing up, Rahmadi had always harboured curiosity for the unknown. As he felt a sense of satisfaction on discovering anything new, he vowed to one day find a job that would allow him to keep learning.

Today, 24-year-old Rahmadi works as a research officer at the Research and Development (R&D) Department at APRIL’s Eucalyptus Plantation Management Improvement Division in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau, Indonesia.

Rahmadi is part of the research and development team at APRIL Group

“What I like most about the job is discovering something new that can be useful to the company.

“For example, when we carry out fertilization trials – what is the best type of fertilizer for eucalyptus plants? We also carry out plant spacing experiments to find out what is the best distance between plants for optimal growth.

“I feel really satisfied when we find out new and useful information like this,” he says.

Rahmadi, who hails from Ranah Singkuang Village in Riau, was a studious type from the start. He received his first scholarship in secondary school, from the Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) Community Development Department.

As the oldest of six children, Rahmadi felt extremely lucky to be able to help relieve a bit of his parents’ financial burden with the scholarship.

From there, Rahmadi heard about the company’s job-linked university scholarships, which would pay for students to study at the STIPER Agriculture Institute (INSTIPER) in Yogyakarta, inclusive of tuition, accommodation and any other expenses required throughout their studies.

Following that, the scholarship recipients would receive full-time job offers from RAPP.

Rahmadi was extremely keen, and decided to apply. He was overjoyed when he was again selected as a scholarship recipient.

“Of course all this came with the condition that we would study to the best of our abilities and practise good values, so I tried doing the best I could,” Rahmadi shares.

Rahmadi said that he received plenty of training and mentoring throughout his studies from the company.

“Every semester, talent management representatives from the RAPP R&D Department would visit us and express their support towards us and our studies.

“So I always felt extremely motivated to join the company, as I was able to get an early feel of what the company was like by then.”

Upon graduation, Rahmadi joined RAPP. Currently, he is responsible for overseeing all stages of plant trials at the company’s eucalyptus tree plantations in the Teso and Nagodang estates.

Rahmadi and his team members measure the diameters and heights of the growing eucalyptus trees, check on the wellbeing of the plants and obtain soil samples. The team then compiles and delivers the data to their colleagues at the RAPP laboratory.

While the field work may be tough on particularly hot days, Rahmadi says the biggest challenge he faces on the job is not a technical one.

“In carrying out the job, we have to work with people of different ages, backgrounds and habits. Some may have very traditional or firm mind sets, so it can be a bit difficult sometimes to get everyone to cooperate at the start,” he said.

Rahmadi working with colleagues as part of the research and development team at APRIL Group

However, it is worth it when this happens, Rahmadi says.

“As the company grows, I hope that it also translates into growth for the communities residing near our operational areas,” he says.

As for his own growth, Rahmadi hopes to expand his knowledge further in the near future.

“The company has shown that it highly values employee development, so I have the aim of continuing my studies in forestry at the Master's level,” he says.