KELURAHAN Muara Kembang ordained themselves as the 'flower' of Muara Jawa. Not because of the village's last name, but because of the extraordinary potential of Muara Kembang.

There is a lot of potential in this kelurahan which is located directly facing the Makassar Strait. One of them is nipah sticks.

Nipah sticks are an additional source of income for the residents of Muara Kembang, who generally work as fishermen and farmers.

"In addition to bringing fish home, now they can also bring nipah," said Muara Kembang Village Head, Muhammad Ramli, Thursday (14/1/2021).

The production process of nipah sticks also involves local women. Muara Kembang women can now also earn rupiah by shaving the nipah sticks, separating the nipah sticks from the leaves.

Nipah sticks that have been separated from the leaves are then dried in the sun and after drying are collected to Sinar Nilam UKM. Back then, they didn't have a group,

now they realize the importance of SME groups for the sustainability of their business.

One kilogram of nipah sticks is valued at Rp. 1000. Working casually, while carrying out routine tasks as housewives, in two days mothers can at least collect up to 100 kg.

Nipah leaves turned out to be another product that buyers from Samarinda and Balikpapan, and even Makassar, were also waiting for. Nipah leaves are needed for making ketupat coto Makassar, for example.

The waste from the shavings of nipah sticks can still be used as compost. So almost all parts of the nipah stick can be used.

Muara Kembang is also known as a producer of charcoal. Every week the demand for charcoal from Samarinda can be up to 20 sacks. While the process of making charcoal takes about 4-5 days.

“If someone says he is unemployed in Muara Kembang, that is not true. He is not unemployed, but lazy. Because of what? Because there are many opportunities here. Just sit around chatting while slicing sticks to make money. And so on," said Ramli.

Last December, nipa sticks from a village with a population of more than 4000 people also succeeded in contributing 25 tons of nipa sticks exports to the Indian market.

Nipa palm sticks from Muara Kembang also participated in filling the series of exports of nipa palm sticks along with a number of other areas such as Penajam Paser Utara, Paser and several other villages in Kutai Kartanegara which are generally located in the Delta Mahakam area.