Masarang key player in new center of excellence
A group of lecturers of the Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, visited the Masarang sugar factory. Prof. Julius Pontoh (second from right) and myself received the group. The university team had heard about the work of our Masarang Foundation with sugar palms and they are in the process of setting up a new center of excellence for research on various useful palms in Indonesia, thus they had to come and see the world’s only geothermal palm sugar factory. Through Masarang’s cooperation with the Tomohon Minaesa University we already have three lecturers that were able to do their PhD at the Brawijaya University on sugar palm subjects, such as sugar palm wood utilization, variation in sugar palm productivity and economic benefit of sugar palm reforestation. These visiting academics of the very large Brawijaya University had no idea about our past cooperation, being from a different department, but they made sure that Masarang is going to be a key player in the new center for palm research and development. Our network keeps growing!
Willie Smits, 1 November