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Story Publication logo November 18, 2022

Forest Preserved, Mandailing Coffee Is Getting More Fragrant (bahasa Indonesia)

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An aerial overview of a volcano and a national park.
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Conservation of Batang Gadis Absolute National Park is carried out. Alternative economic development...

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This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit IDN Times. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.



A farmer harvests coffee in the buffer zone of Batang Gadis National Park. Image by Prayugo Utomo/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

Long before Indonesia's independence, Mandailing coffee had gone global.
William H Ukers in the book
All About Coffee,
wrote that the quality of Mandailing coffee is the best in the world.
Behind its distinctive taste, there is a spirit of protecting the forest.
The community knows the taste of coffee is maintained because of a good forest.
The culture of protecting forests by ancestors continues
in order to protect nature and keep Mandailing coffee in existence

Mandailing Natal, September 2022

Rows of coffee plants on the hillside are still shrouded in fog in Ulu Pungkut, a sub-district at the western end of Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra, which borders West Sumatra. Settlements line the hilly valley.

On a quiet morning, a group of women with their baskets walk towards the garden on the hillside. Some of them are not young anymore. But they look strong climbing the hill with a slope of about 45 degrees.

Their hands are deft. Sorting out the red coffee beans while chatting with other farmers.

Idris Sandi Matondang, production manager of Koperasi Serba Usaha (KSU) Kopi Mandailing Jaya (Komanja), joined in the conversation. Sandi—his nickname—interjects to talk about good coffee. This includes the importance of protecting the forest area, which adjoins the plantation.


Banamon is the flagship product of the Mandailing Jaya Coffee Cooperative (Komanja). Demand for Banamon grew, and the product began to reach several islands in Indonesia and even Malaysia. Image by Mirza Baihaqie/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

A farmer harvests coffee in the buffer zone of Batang Gadis National Park. Image by Prayugo Utomo/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

Community coffee plantations adjoin forests in Ulu Pungkut Subdistrict, Mandailingnatal Regency, North Sumatra. Many people utilize gardens that have not been cultivated for a long time to grow coffee. Image by Prayugo Utomo/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

KSU Komanja Production Manager Idris Sandi Matondang checks the coffee beans being dried in the cooperative's drying house. Komanja maintains the quality of their coffee through a series of processes that are getting better. Image by Prayugo Utomo/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

Settlements in Ulu Pungkut sub-district border the forest. The local wisdom of the Mandailing ethnicity makes the community keep the forest sustainable. Image by Mirza Baihaqie/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

Settlements in Ulu Pungkut Subdistrict border the forest. The local wisdom of the Mandailing ethnicity keeps the community preserving the forest. Image by Prayugo Utomo/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

Forest rangers and the community routinely patrol the Batang Gadis National Park (TNBG) area, Mandailinatal Regency. Community involvement in forest protection is considered effective enough to reduce pressure on forest areas. Image by Prayugo Utomo/IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

The Batang Gadis National Park (BTNBG) Forest Police uncovered an illegal mining case on May 15, 2022. Four people were arrested. Three excavators that were operating in the TNBG area were confiscated. Image courtesy of BTNBG. Indonesia, 2022.
Video by IDN Times. Indonesia, 2022.

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