ACTNews, ACEH JAYA – A year ago, a-110-hectare land in Lhok Geulumpang Village in Setia Bakti sub-district, Aceh Jaya Regency, was endowed. Citronella grass has been gradually cultivated on this waqf land.
Husaini Ismail, Global Wakaf Aceh branch manager, stated that the citronella grass plantation is currently being expanded. Around 40 hectares of land have been cultivated after previously only 10 hectares of land had been cultivated.
“Around 7.5 hectares of citronella grass plantation is ready to be harvested. Another 2.8 hectares have been cultivated with the plants reaching 2-week-old. In total, 12.8 hectares of land have been cultivated of the total 40 hectares that we aim to plant. Meanwhile, the remaining 27.2 hectares that we will also cultivate during this first phase is still currently having the trees cut down,” said Ismail, Saturday (4/19).
Apart from expanding the plantation, Global Wakaf also plans to build an additional distillation plant on that land to add to the three existing plants, both the small and large ones.
“Last March, we invited an architect to measure the land on which the distillation plant is to be build. Hopefully, this effort will go smoothly,” hoped Ismail.
The expansion of the plantation on the 110-hectare land endowed by the late Haji Mustafa can be done thanks to its productivity. Ismail said that since the beginning of the cultivation in July 2018, the citronella grass plantation has been able to be harvested every three months.
“Currently, the distillation of the citronella grass to produce essential oil is done three times a day every day. As of April 4, 2019, we already have 175 kilograms of essential oil that we will sell,” added Ismail.
The sales of the essential oil will be conducted through an export company in Medan. At the moment, our essential oil is being tested in a laboratory in Hong Kong.
“Because we aim to export our essential oil to Hong Kong, Singapore, and other countries in Europe, we are having our product tested in Hong Kong in order to gain international recognition so that it will be easier to sell,” said Ismail.
The essential oil from the citronella grass plantation in Aceh Jaya is of super grade, containing 45-52% of pure citronella oil. The minimum export standard of citronella oil is of 35% purity. In the future, Global Wakaf aims to be able to export its citronella oil by themselves without the help of export companies.
Waqf-Based Livestock Barn in Aceh Jaya
In unison with the expansion of the citronella plantation and distillation, Global Wakaf also established a Waqf-Based Livestock Barn (LTW) near the plantation. Ismail explained that the area will be turned into an integrated waqf area. The LTW that has started operating since last March currently has 12 heads of cattle.
The LTW currently manages a patch of 5-hectare land that has been enclosed. The enclosure was set up to prevent the cattle from going out of the LTW area.
“In the future, the ranch can be integrated with the citronella grass plantation, and the cattle will eat not only grass but also the by-product of the citronella distillation,” explained Ismail.
In the near future, Global Wakaf aims to breed 100 heads of cattle in LTW Aceh Jaya. In long term, Global Wakaf plans to breed 1,000 heads of cattle.
Creating massive benefits
In recent year, the management of the waqf land in Aceh Jaya has massively benefitted the surrounding communities. Among the beneficiaries are a nearby Islamic boarding school, surrounding villagers in Aceh Jaya, and victims of humanitarian crises.
Pungki M. Kusuma, Operation Manager of Global Wakaf, stated that, at the moment, the number of the beneficiaries is increasing. “The productive waqf in Aceh is an effort to support the society’s economic awakening. Hopefully, more people will be inspired to endow their waqf. Additionally, waqf is a way for the believers to reach Paradise. This is because it brings immense benefits to the society. Do not hesitate, do not postpone to endow your waqf because Allah will reward it with something much better in this world and the next,” Kusuma concluded.