The people of the Batak (a Sumatran tribe) and the farmers explained to Global Netwings that
the imported coffee-beans belong to the variety “Sigarar Utang” or “Ateng”. These relatively small coffee-trees can be found in many regions of North-Sumatra e.g. the regions of Tapanuli Tara, Humbang Hasundutan, Toba Samosir, Karo, Simalungun, Dairi, Tapanuli Selatan and Mandailing Natal.
Morphologically (stature and size) the coffee is classified with the variety “Typica BLP”. Although, due to the length of the leaves, it could be classified with the variety “Catimor” The local farmers explained to Dave Soepriyadi that the variety “Sigarar Utang” was farmed for the first time in 1988 in the village of Batu Gajah, Parangian Tara in the district of Lintongnihuta on the coffee-plantation Oppung Sopan (Oppung means grandpa).
Many farmers had many doubts on the variety “Sigarar Utang, as up to then they had no experience in the planting of this coffee-type. Their hesitation disappeared quickly as they realized that it sold well. The coffee-trees stand out due to their steady growth and regular harvests.
Due to this continual success and the good taste many business-men became interested in this type of coffee. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the business fraud left its mark.
At the beginning the farmers were deceived by irresponsible business-men and the coffee-type “Sigarar Utang” was also used as a raw-material for gun-powder. For the coffee-farmers, however, it was only important that the coffee was sold, whereby the price did not play a role. Therefore, the coffee-beans could be purchased very cheaply. In the meantime they have realized that they were deceived. It was a sad and bitter beginning.
Why is this coffee-variety called “Sigarar Utang”?
The word “Sigarar Utang” means paid debts. The coffee-beans of the Arabic bean “Sigarar Utang” can be harvested after a period of around 22 months after the first plantation. This is in comparison with the harvest-period for other Robusta beans (approx. 72 months) relatively short. The advantage of this special variety is the possibility of a good-quality harvest. The country-side in North-Sumatra is well suited for the growth of this variety.
Due to the quick and thereafter regular harvest the financial-resources can be quickly and regularly generated. In other words, the coffee-famers can repay their debts more quickly which is very important to them.
The variety is also called “Ateng”. The word “Ateng” means dwarf which indicates the size of the coffee-plant. Besides, there is a dwarf-sized comedian who is well-known and very popular whose name is also “Ateng”. It is in the same way that the farmers laugh about him that they also laugh about harvesting “again” after the short ripening period.