There is something different found in one of the oil palm plantations in Riau Province. Among the 25 years old-oil palm trees, you can see a square courtyard filled with colorful flowers and papaya trees.
It was the idea of Sunarto, an oil palm smallholder from Buana Bhakti Village, Siak Regency, Riau Province, to cut down his oil palm trees on an area of 4 hectares and turned it into an agro-tourism.
“My two children laughed at me when I said that I would make a swimming pool here. Nobody believed there would be a swimming pool. I have already said that there are many opportunities for this area”, said Sunarto while brewing coffee at the Tirta Buana Asri swimming pool.
The first time he came to Bumi Lancang Kuning was because he joined the transmigration program in 1992. At that time, Sunarto departed from Central Java and got 2 hectares of land that could be planted with oil palm and 0.5 hectares of yards in Riau.
In the beginning there was not a single palm tree standing yet. However, Sunarto and other transmigrant smallholders joined into a partnership with Asian Agri and started cultivating the 2 hectare agricultural land earlier.