Have you ever thought that Bali also has salt farmers so that they can produce local Balinese salt?
But nowadays, it’s getting rarer even so there are some places that still survive and one of them is the traditional salt farmer in Kusamba.
Then have you heard of Kusamba beach, of course, for the people of the Klungkung area or the East Bali area, it is no stranger.
Kusamba Beach is a beach located in Kusamba Village, Dawan District, Klungkung Regency. Approximately 7 km to the east of the city of Semarapura, Klungkung.
In antiquity until around the 18th century, Kusamba Village was the 2nd capital of the Klungkung Kingdom led by Ida I Dewa Agung Putra, the 5th King of Klungkung. To support his government, Ida Dewa built a palace under the name Kusanegara.
In addition to building a palace, Kusamba also turned out to be used as a port and fortress of the Klungkung Kingdom.
However, after the Klungkung Kingdom was conquered by the Dutch in the Puputan Klungkung incident, the name Kusanegara became the name of Kusamba Village.
The beginning of this location is called Kusamba Beach because this beach is in a village called Kusamba Village to make it easier to remember this place and then called Kusamba Beach.
The name Kusamba comes from two namely Kusa and Amba. Both words have the meaning of weeds. So according to the community, Kusamba Village was a stretch of weeds.
Organic Salt Farmer
Communities around Kusamba Beach on average make a living as fishermen and salt farmers, this can be seen from the number of boats and huts where salt is processed along the coast.
The salt produced at Kusamba Beach is organic salt. Salt making is very dependent on nature, when the dry season the results of the salt produced will be maximized, and vice versa if the rainy season it will be more difficult to produce salt.
Kusamba Salt Making Process
This paper will describe how the Kumbaba salt farmers produce their organic salt traditionally, such as;
- The salt farmers flatten the beach sand, then take sea water and sprinkle it on the surface of the sand. This process is repeated 3 to 4 times. After that wait for the sand to dry, which can take approximately 4 hours if the sun is hot.
- After the sand is dry, the dry sand flakes are taken to the huts that have been provided and placed in a large tub where the sand filter is made of wood (belong bias).
- Then the sand that has been placed on the filter will be doused again with sea water until it gets the first salt water and this process is carried out 3 to 4 times to produce pure salt water. The filter results are accommodated in belong yeh.
- The pure salt water that has been obtained is taken to a container made of coconut tree trunks to be dried in the sun. After getting enough solar heat, the salt water will crystallize and these crystals become pure salt with high quality.
- The crystals are dredged using coconut shells to produce small grains of salt. To drain the salt from the brine, farmers put their harvested salt in a place made of woven bamboo (steam). After the salt crystals are no longer dripping water, then this salt is ready to be marketed and can be consumed.
Kusamba Salt and Certificate of Geographical Indication
The form of the Bali Provincial Government’s commitment to local resources by playing an active role in protecting, preserving, empowering, and utilizing traditional Balinese salt products, including Kusamba organic salt, as one of the bases for developing the Balinese economy to improve people’s welfare.
Therefore, the Bali Provincial Government has issued Circular Letter (SE) Number 17 of 2021 concerning the Utilization of Local Traditional Balinese Salt Products.
Also the Bali Provincial Government has facilitated the Kusamba salt manufacturing center so that it will get a Geographical Indication Certificate (IG) for Salt in early 2022, to increase competitiveness and guarantee the quality of traditional national salt so that in the future it is suitable for export.
Well, we as millennials should preserve local wisdom, so that the welfare of the salt farmers is prosperous.
And hopefully the salt farmer regeneration crisis can be resolved so as to maintain the existence of salt farmers in the future.
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