Not many people have heard of the small town of Pangkalan Kerinci – commonly known as Kerinci. This community of about 100,000 inhabitants is, however, a true gold mine for the pulp and paper industry, providing the world with more than 800,000 tons of paper and 2.8 million tons of pulp each year.
Considered the nerve center of the RGE (Royal Golden Eagle) Group’s main operations in the industry, coordinated by chairman and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto, Kerinci is regarded today as one of the most striking examples of how industry leaders, the government and local communities can work together to boost the infrastructure and economy of an entire city.
Remarkable Growth in Less Than 25 Years
Before the RGE arrived in Kerinci, the town was a more or less forgotten area with only 200 dwellings, no reliable roads, and a bleak prospect for locals to make money solely from fishing or engaging in illegal logging.
25 years later, however, the town is an example of prosperity, with more than 11,000 km of new roads being laid in the area, a local power plant working mainly on sustainable resources that can produce in excess of 530 MW of power, and even a small airport, as well as two shipping ports, used for transporting the pulp and paper produced in Kerinci to various locations worldwide.
Made possible by the integrative philosophy of Sukanto Tanoto‘s RGE group, working together with the local community to continually boost both the company’s pulp and paper production and the prosperity of the local population, these incredible progresses are a testament to how the corporate group’s approach to business growth can be used for achieving success.
New Opportunities for Smallholder Farmers
Another important area in which the RGE group operates – and which has probably impacted the lives of the local population in Kerinci more than anything els – is represented by the palm oil operations engaged by Asian Agri (one of the Group’s most important members).
Asian Agri has worked closely during the past two decades with the Kerinci community to manage thousands of hectares of plantation and provide high quality palm oil to the world.
In turn, local workers have gained the opportunity to become smallholder farmers and have been provided with remarkable opportunities for growing their own businesses and increasing their levels of prosperity to the point that they managed to buy new homes and secure their children’s future.
Sustainable forest management policies and the remarkable guidance of RGE have boosted operations in the Kerinci area considerably.
More recently, the RGE Technology Center has also become involved in the work through research and sustainable development geared for producing natural predators to suppress pests and gain higher yields for production. Planting experts have managed to optimize reforestation, and carefully prepare eucalyptus and acacia leaf cuttings to be planted in the plantations.
Together with a policy designed to balance environmental, economic and workforce-related factors, the many advancements brought to Kerinci are expected to lead to even higher success for the group and for the local community during the next 10 years