In a rubber field in Tabalong, south Kalimantan, farmer Bahruddin scores a diagonally descending cut into one side of a tree trunk with his black-blade machete. White rubber oozes from the gash, trickling along the wound and dripping into a small plastic bowl hanging from a nail in the tree trunk.
"The rubber is good from a waist-high cut, but can become dirty when taken from a cut close to the base of the tree." It takes between five and seven years for a rubber tree to be ready for harvesting.
"Fifteen," counters rubber farmer Junaidi, above. Today they are working together in the processing platform.
The processing station is a simple roofed wooden stage with a single work bench bearing two pressing machines and a suspended weighing device.
Junaidi feeds the wet rubber sheets through the two hand-operated pressing machines, squeezing out the excess water. "This second machine scores the rubber with lines, giving it texture." The pressed rubber is weighed and then hung in a wooden smokehouse for three days.
"But it's not open today...".