MANY ROADSIDE FREELANCE WORKERS collect oil palm fruit that has been discarded by others. They chop the low-quality fruit and stems and sell them in bulk to independent processing plants.
I previously worked as a trader, selling stuff. But the business got stuck and I ran out of money, so I had to do this, this is my job now. All I have to do now is chop chop, it is what it is. AZNAN, freelance worker, Riau Province.
We interviewed Aznan, an entrepreneuring villager who collects and trades the low-quality fallen fruit that has been left on the ground after the harvest. He says: What I have here is palm fruit that is already sorted out from the factory, so people like us come and get it from those trucks. We work right here, and cut these fruits off the stem. Because if we don't chop them, they cannot be sold and will be thrown away. These fruits are taken to outside factories that don't have their own farms. They need to stay busy with day-to-day production. They accept palm fruit that's been rejected elsewhere. We chop it. We can't make money if it's not chopped.
I sell directly to the factory, yes, the factory. We sell these fruits to other factories, this one here knows, they don't want them. I'm not sure about the price of palm in this factory here, but maybe around 1,400 rupiah per kilogram. This is our own private business, it's the villagers' way. We get the fruit that is rejected by the factory, like in those trucks. I'm just a worker here, the transport is owned by someone else. It seems like it is outside transport, the factory just pays for it.