press release reaping the benefits from the chevron for riau’s health and prosperity program
Pekanbaru, February 20, 2021 – The Palas Mandiri farmers group of the West Rumbai subdistrict completed its first harvest under Chevron for Riau’s Health and Prosperity on February 20. Known as Chevron untuk Riau Sehat dan Sejahtera (CHERISH), the program was initiated by PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (PT CPI) since last year to assist farmers in communities nearby Chevron operations.
The event celebrates harvesting of chili and corn from the group’s 7-hectare farm and the launch of PetaniPiau.id, a digital platform that will help Riau farmers build their own product distribution system and increase production and sales. In addition to other forms of aid, farmers groups in the CHERISH program receive training and digital marketing assistance that prepares them to use the new website.
PT CPI partnering with two program implementors, Riau University Research and Community Service Institute, or Lembaga Penelitian dan Pengabdian Masyarakat (LPPM) Universitas Riau (Unri), and the Trisakti University Center for Entrepreneurship, Change and Third Sector (CECT Trisakti).
“We have to be smart in observing the potential around us, especially in food sustainability,” said Pekanbaru Governor Dr. Firdaus in his welcome speech at the event. “What PT CPI has done is a good step, and it helps the government in preventing food supply problems during the pandemic.”
Riau University Rector, Prof. Dr. Aras Mulyadi, attended the event along with Temporary Officer Chief Representative of SKK Migas Sumbagut, Haryanto Syafri, and PT CPI General Manger Corporate Affairs Asset Sukamto Tamrin.
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on local economies are great,” Tamrin said. “PT CPI took the initiative to help the government program to strengthen and stabilize the food supply and local economic recovery, especially for local farming. This joint harvesting is proof of our successful collaboration.”
A similar event under the CHERISH program was celebrated last December at Petapahan, a village in the district of Tapung of Kampar Regency. The effort involved large-scale rice harvesting, with Vice Governor Brigadier General (retired) Edy Natar Nasution and Kampar Regent Catur Sugeng in attendance.
PT CPI designed CHERISH to support COVID-19 pandemic impact countermeasures and to contribute to achieving U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Riau. CHERISH focuses on sustainable food, subdistrict COVID-19 alert empowerment and clean water well development and is directly funded by Chevron.
In the sustainable food program, PT CPI supports 20 farmer groups, or kelompok tani (abbreviated as poktan), spread across the towns of Pekanbaru, Kampar, Siak, Bengkalis, Dumai and Rokan Hilir. Aid includes farm production facilities, training and assistance based on the needs of each poktan. The effort started in August 2020 and is monitored to ensure continuity.
In the COVID-19 program, PT CPI partners with Indonesia Civilian Humanity Foundation, or Yayasan Kemanusiaan Madani Indonesia (YKMI), in screening six villages in Pekanbaru and Bengkalis. In the clean water program, PT CPI partners with Riau Muhammadiyah University LPPM, or LPPM Universitas Muhammadiyah Riau, to develop wells in Rokan Hilir, Kampar and Siak. Both programs promote a clean and healthy lifestyle, or perilaku hidup bersih dan sehat (PHBS), to decrease COVID-19 spread.