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"Investation on coffee in Tobasa will surely be success", so said Mr. Hormat Panjaitan to Mr. Sabam Malau in a friendly interview at Hormat Panjaitan’s office in Balige.

Photo 1: Sabam Malau (white shirt) shaked hands with Hormat Panjaitan. The others  (from left to right) are Parlindungan Manurung, Mintar Manurung, Jose Rizal Pasaribu and Pison J. Tampubolon.  Photo taken at Hormat Panjaitan’s office in Balige.


Hormat Panjaitan S.IP is Head of Forestry and Estate Department at Tobasa Government Office, and Dr. Sabam Malau is Chairman of NSCF-North Sumatera Coffee Forum. Tobasa Rigency is one of 26 regencies of North Sumatera Province of Indonesia. Tobasa area consists of forestry, farm land, and a part of Toba Lake, the largest lake in the world. At the interview, Hormat Panjaitan was accompanied by his staffs namely Jose Rizal Pasaribu SH, Ir. Mintar Manurung, Parlindungan Manurung, SST and Ir. Pison J. Tampubolon. Sometimes, the staffs added some information and explanation. The followings are questions and answers in the interview.  

Sabam Malau: Would you please describe the current situation of coffee in Tobasa?
Hormat Panjaitan: In Tobasa Regency, there are 2,618.95 ha of arabica coffee planting area, consists of 1,894.34 ha of productive plants. Total production of coffee bean was 2,591.84 ton in year 2010, hence the productivity was 1,368.20 kg/ha/year. The coffee growers are 1,192 households.

Sabam Malau: What’s your opinion concerning coffee price?
Hormat Panjaitan: The Arabica coffee price at coffee growers level were fluctuated in which last week price was IDR 26,000 per kg, two weeks ago was IDR 28,000 per kg of arabica coffee bean.  The robusta coffee bean price was IDR 19,000 per kg. The price needs to increase in order to make coffee growers to be capable of conducting better coffee maintenance such as to buy organic fertilizers.

Sabam Malau: What’s your coffee program?
Hormat Panjaitan: We have to say that the provincial and regencial government have limited budget. This year 2011, we built production road of 1 km in order to increase access and decrease transportation cost as well as gave 5 units of pulver machine to coffee growers, and also to train several coffee farmers in Integrated Pest Control Management. In year 2010, we gave 10 units of pulver machine to coffee growers. In year 2009, we gave thousands of seedlings to coffee growers.  Provincial Government needs to give more fund to Tobasa Government to develop coffee.

Sabam Malau: What’s about investors?
Hormat Panjaitan: We welcome investors. We need one another. We know the strategy how to make them success. Investation on coffee in Tobasa will surely be success.

Amids the interview, Hormat Panjaitan referred me to two entrepreneurs in Tobasa namely Mr. P. Simanjuntak (Photo 2) and Mr. Gerhard Tampubolon (Photo 3). I have visited both of them. Each of them has their own coffee warehouses and machines to produce green bean
Photo 2. Sabam Malau (left) with P. Simanjuntak (right), a successful coffee entrepreneur in Tobasa
Photo 3. Mintar Manurung (left), Sabam Malau (right) with Gerhard Tampubolon (center), a successful coffee entrepreneur in Tobasa

Sabam Malau interviewed also Liberty Pasaribu, the Vice Head of Tobasa Government. The result can be read in the page To Develop Coffee is Tobasa Government’s commitment.


Kind regards,

Dr. Sabam Malau
NSCF Chairman

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