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Preserving the local values through bunga telang: The case of Martani, Yogyakarta

Location: Kalasan, Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Highlight from the story:

Integration of agricultural entrepreneurship, cultural preservation, and community empowerment for sustainability development


Martani, an SME based in Kalasan, Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, derives its name from the same word in Javanese, which encompasses the meanings of livening up and being a source of livelihood. Established in Yogyakarta in 2015, Martani is dedicated to providing nutritious local food options while fostering collaboration and progress alongside the local community.

One of the local products that Martani has chosen to develop is bunga telang, also known as Asian pigeonwings (Clitorea ternatea). It is renowned for its beneficial properties and natural coloring abilities, which impart a captivating blue hue to beverages and food items. This plant grows in the villagers’ fences abundantly, which captured the attention of Martani’s people and got them thinking about how to utilize this plant. Martani, in partnership with farmers from four families in Taman Martani village, then started cultivating and producing dried bunga telang. This product is used to enhance the visual appeal of local drinks and food in the village.

Martani's efforts represent a devoted commitment to preserving local values through close collaboration with the surrounding communities. By cultivating and utilizing bunga telang, Martani actively contributes to the conservation of this plant species. The involvement of the local communities extends beyond being mere producers; they are considered valued partners in product development. This collaborative approach has mutually beneficial outcomes, with the participating families experiencing positive economic impacts. For instance, the family of Mbah Budi, who are bunga telang farmers, have successfully overcome financial burdens and have even supported their grandson's college education, thanks to the empowerment impact provided by Martani.

Through its evolution, Martani grew from a farming enterprise to a captivating tourist destination. Several university students came to Martani to study bunga telang further. Martani then also developed some ready-made products based on bunga telang, such as blue rice, and some traditional drinks, and sell them in the small stalls called warung in the village. These products have become other attractions and are enjoyed by visitors who came to do some educational activities. This development was happily welcomed by the farmers as well, as more income was derived from the visitors coming to their bunga telang gardens. Yusup, one of Martani's caretakers stated that trust forms the foundation of Martani's relationships with the farmers. Effective and intensive communication facilitates seamless coordination and adaptability to changing circumstances. The shared mission unites Martani's founders, employees, and partners in their vision, enabling them to overcome challenges and consistently deliver exceptional experiences to visitors.

Educational tourism destination
Becoming educational tourism destination

Martani's efforts are examples of the integration of agricultural entrepreneurship, cultural preservation, and community empowerment. Their unwavering commitment to local values, such as bunga telang cultivation, not only preserves traditional heritage but also contributes to the sustainable development of the region. Martani's collaborative approach serves as a model for fostering community engagement and creating economic opportunities, showcasing the potential for harmonious coexistence between a business entity and local communities. Martani's story serves as an inspiration, showcasing the transformative power of trust, effective communication, and a shared mission. It is a demonstration of the remarkable achievements that can be realized when these core pillars are embraced and nurtured. As Martani continues to grow and flourish, it will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on the village’s history.

Enjoying bunga telang-based products
Enjoying bunga telang-based products in the village


The authors would like to thank Ibu Rita Mustikasari and Bapak Yusup Maguantara of Martani for their support of materials and photos.


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