In the tropical rainforest the sugar palm tree (Arenga Pinnata) can be found. The village hub is a mini-factory, that is making sugar from the sap of the tree. Although the project is finished the process has been further optimized in recent years by combing new technologies and as a result the whole system is now a zero waste system. Every residual product (like heat, organic waste etc.) is input for another process/product, thereby optimizing the business model of the factory.
In this marvelous movie made by Raymond Hartman you can see how it is working.
How the Sugar Palm provides green energy, healthy food, more forest, jobs and progress for the local population.
More information about the Village Hub in North Sulawesi
The Village Hub in Tomohon
This village hub in Tomohon was built with the help of Stichting Doen, the National Geograhic, the Rabobank Foundation, Spie and the Ministry of Economics/RVO. The Villag Hub in Tomohon has important educational purposes for showing the viability of the sugar palm concept for remote areas in Indonesias rainforests.
Benefits for farmers
Its main goal is to make it possible for people in remote areas of Indonesia to be sugar palm farmers and make a decent living, while preserving the rainforest at the same time. With the help of these small mobile factories the sugar sap can be processed into sugar and provide a sustainable income.
Plans for West Kalimantan
The Village Hubs can be lowered into the forest by a helicopter. Willie wants to place these hubs in remote villages as well, for instance with the Dayak people in Borneo. The Dayak are traditionally hunters who are seeing their forests disappear due to illegal logging and palm oil plantations. The people are poor, are sometimes forced to work as illegal lumberjacks and there is little schooling and many social problems. However, in what is left of the forest, sugar palms are being planted. By delivering these ‘Village Hubs’ to the people, large quantities of sugar sap can be processed and many people can become sugar palm farmers. They can make a better living and preserve the forest at the same time. Not only do the Hubs process sugar sap, they are also equipped to immediately deliver clean bio-ethanol (healthier to cook on than wood), electricity, drinking water and even have tools for medical care.