The public can also benefit from the plant products from this forest rehabilitation (effort)
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo on Thursday planted macadamia nut trees in Simangulampe Village, Humbang Hasundutan District, North Sumatra, with the local community.

Macadamia nut trees are a species of non-timber forest products.

Director General of watershed management for forest rehabilitation at the Environment and Forestry Ministry, Dyah Murtiningsih, said that the tree planting activity was conducted over a 10-hectare area, and the plantation was based on soil and water conservation techniques, as well as agroforestry.

"We see that the land (gradient) here is steep, so we need to do soil and water conservation in the form of terracing," she said in a written statement received here on Thursday.

She further said she expected the tree planting activity in the protected forest area around Simangulampe village to offer benefits to people, such as erosion prevention.

"The public can also benefit from the plant products from this forest rehabilitation (effort), because we planted seeds of non-timber forest products that bear fruit or other products," Murtiningsih informed.

A farmer from the village, Juwita Sitorus, said she expected the plantation to help nearby residents, offering advantages ranging from a welfare increase to flood prevention.

An environmental activist from Simalungun, Togu Simorangkir, said he expected the trees planted would be taken care of and maintained in the long term so that they can provide benefits to the community.

"So, planting and caring for trees should be the program, not just planting trees. We make sure the trees we plant are alive," he stressed.

Head of the Asahan Watershed and Protected Forest Management Center Barumun, Dwi Januanto Nugroho, said that his organization is collaborating with the local residents and farmer groups to maintain the area for the next three years.

"From the initial planning phase, from the initial phase before we did the technical input, we have communicated it with the community; in this case, it is a farmer group and it is a three-year cooperation," Nugroho informed.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno, North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi, and Humbang Hasundutan district head Dosmar Banjarnahor accompanied the President on his visit.

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Translator: Mentari D G, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
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