TEMPO.CO, Jakarta- Chairman of East Java chapter of Indonesian Coffee Farmers Bambang Sri said Mount Raung’s eruption also affected hundreds of hectares of community coffee plantations in Sumberwringin district, Bondowoso regency, East Java.
“Farmers reported many coffee fruits dropped before harvest time,” Bambang told Tempo, Thursday, July 23, 2015.
Bambang said they are currently entering main harvest season for robusta coffee. “There are more than one thousand hectares of coffee plantations in Sumberwringin now entering harvest season,” he said.
Mount Raung volcanic ash covers Sumberwringin community coffee plantation, covering their leaves with grey ash.
In Sumberwringin district, Bambang said, there are thousands of robusta coffee plantations and a few dozen arabica coffee. “Arabica coffee has been harvested. Now it’s the season for robusta harvest,” he explained.
Bambang cannot detail the total area that are directly affected and the potential loss shouldered by the farmers.
A similar condition hit coffee plantations at Sempol district, mostly owned by state-owned PTPN XII. Sempol district head Tjagar Alam said coffee plantations in his area are also affected by Mount Raung’s eruption.
"PTPN XII knows the details [of the effect]," said Tjagar. Based on information gathered by Tempo, Kalijampit plantation is affected, while Blawan is relatively safe. Both are owned by PTPN XII.
Other than coffee, community vegetable gardens are also affected. “Dozens of community potato gardens are covered with volcanic ash,” said Tjagar.
As previously reported, Mount Raung’s volcanic activity remains volatile.