Astaria, owner of Bengok Craft at Tribun Jateng

TRIBUNJATENGCOM, SEMARANG – Running an MSME-based business is actually not Astaria Eka Santi’s goal (28).

Since graduating from a bachelor’s degree (S2) from Amity University India in 2019, she has been more interested in building a digital start-up business.

Until, then, after participating in various competitions throughout her way, she actually switched to pursuing crafts made from water hyacinth with its brand Bengok Craft.

Astaria said that personally, she did not own in-depth knowledge of crafts or the ability to weave even with his family background.

However, she initiated to empower the local community around her, especially those who fulfill their livings through water hyacinth, which has the scientific name Eichhornia Crassipes.

“When we talk about our beginning, that’s the starting point. I saw people in the area where my husband lives in Kesongo Village, Tuntang District, Semarang Regency, many residents here work side jobs as farmers or laborers to pick water hyacinth and sell it in wet or dry form. In fact, if it is processed into handicrafts, the value of the money can be higher,” she said

She added that so far, many water hyacinth plants from her village were sent to artisans in Yogyakarta and Pekalongan.

Meanwhile, farmers only get wages from selling dried water hyacinth Rp. 5 thousand per kilogram.

Since then, she has been determined to make handicrafts from the water hyacinth plant in the hope that in the future it can improve the economic level of the local community so that they do not only sell wet and dry water hyacinth but also in the form of finished handicrafts.

The woman from Semarang Regency said that to get raw materials according to the needs of craftsmen, farmers, or laborers to pick water hyacinth, they must take them in the middle of a swamp.

Once taken, she said, it was around 40 kilograms, while they could only sell it, waiting two weeks for it to dry.

From the 40 kilograms, she continued, it shrinks to a maximum of 6 kilograms when multiplied by five thousand, the wages are only Rp30.000.

“There I think there is a business opportunity as well as community empowerment to turn them just farmers or pick laborers into artisans or handicraft producers.

Of course, economically the outcomes will be better, thus at least they can increase their monthly income with a better rupiah value,” she said

Her party stated that in the early stages of establishing the Bengok Craft business, the first product was a book with a cover made of water hyacinth.

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This article has been published on with the title Called to Empower the Community, Astaria Turns Water Hyacinths into Various Crafts, Masyarakat-astaria-olah-eceng- goiter-so-diverse-crafts?page=3.
Author: M Nafiul Haris | Editor: moh anhar

Translator: Ritya Rasta Bilqiis

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