Firman Setyaji, CEO of Bengok Craft
Credit: Triawanda Tirta Aditya

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is often considered a weed because it grows quickly and has the potential to invade the land, especially waterlogged areas. However, instead of being demolished, this floating aquatic plant was actually used as life support by Firman Setyaji.

With his skills, the 30-year-old man from Semarang Regency has succeeded in turning water hyacinth into handicrafts with high selling value. You can easily find these creations at Bengok Craft, an outlet as well as a workshop that was set up in his house.

Anyway, in Semarang Regency, the local community refers to water hyacinth as “benguk” or “bengok”. In fact, ‘bengok” is a term for mumps, a viral infection that affects the salivary glands. However, the same term also applies to water hyacinth.

That is the reason why Firman named the business he has been in since 2019 Bengok Craft or handicrafts made from water hyacinth. At the home of the young man who graduated from the University of Indonesia majoring in Criminology, you are guaranteed to be amazed by the various handicrafts made from the main ingredient of water hyacinth.

Firman doesn’t do all the crafts himself. At his house, he is assisted by about 15 artisans and tailors to work on various creations such as sandals, jackets, hats, bags, trays, kitchen furniture, flower vases, and tissue holders.

Praise to God, about 15 people have been assisted. All of them are local residents who don’t know me at all,” said Firman at his home located in Kesongo Village, Tuntang District, Semarang Regency, Tuesday (18/1/2022).

Starting from Thoughtfulness

No one knows the fate of people, but persistence always pays off. Perhaps, this proverb is the most appropriate to be attached to Firman. Until now, he admitted that he still did not expect to be known by people as a water hyacinth artisan who was quite successful.

Firman’s matchmaking with water hyacinth initially only started with his concern or thoughtfulness. After nine years of wandering in the capital, he returned to his hometown and was dismayed to see the piles of water hyacinth that filled the surface of Rawa Pening, a natural lake that is the source of income for the people of Tuntang and its surroundings.

The water hyacinth that accumulates in Rawa Pening if left unchecked will have a bad impact on the surrounding ecosystem,” recalls the man who has now started selling his products to various countries.

From there, he started to think of a solution, and the idea came up to anticipate the invasion by using water hyacinth weed to make it useful, as well as to provide jobs for the local community.

A good life can provide positive energy for the surrounding environment, including (founding Bengok Craft),” said Firman while showing his creative space filled with products made from water hyacinth.

How Bengok Craft penetrated into foreign markets and how is the commitment to its products? Click on the next article here.

This article has been published by entitled “Gulma Rawa Pening yang Dijual hingga Negeri Asing”. Retrieved from

Translated by: Ritya Rasta Bilqiis

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