Did you know that water hyacinth is a weed land? In fact, in a country like Thailand, this plant is referred to as a disease called the praktob Java which in Indonesian means the disease originates from Java. This is because Thailand initially got this one plant from Java.

Weeds are enemies of plants. Weed is a plant, but appears in unexpected places. Usually when someone plants a plant, weeds grow around it. Though what is expected is the plant that was planted initially. Well, water hyacinth is one of the weeds.

So, how could this weed plant be beneficial? Even in Indonesia, this weed is worth selling high and can be exported abroad? Check out the origins of water hyacinth in Indonesia and the various regions that utilize it, including how to use it to become the following high-value product.

The origins of water hyacinth in Indonesia

Water hyacinth was originally imported as an ornamental plant to Indonesia from Brazil. Its existence is to complement the beauty of the Bogor Botanical Gardens because it looks good. This plant has beautiful purple flowers. The leaves are round like an egg and supported by a cylindrical stem that rises in a cylindrical shape.

Because of its appearance, it is natural that these plants are used as garden decoration. But over time it turns out that growth is so rapid. This plant grows on the waters, but is not controlled. In addition, a lot of rapid growth also has a negative effect on the waters where it grows.

When trying to eradicate by means of disposal, it turns out these plants can not just run out and die. In fact, these plants continue to appear so that the activity of eradicating these plants is slower than the increase in plants. As has happened in several locations in Indonesia, namely Rawa Pening, along the road between Semarang – Kudus, Banyu Biru rice fields and other areas.

Water Hyacinth Plant, source : Robert Harding
Water Hyacinth Plant, source : Robert Harding

So what is the solution to stop this weed growth rate? This is where water hyacinth plants can be transformed into a variety of interesting products that have a high selling value and the products can be exported to Europe.

Danger of water hyacinth

What are the dangers of water hyacinth plants for the environment in which they live? Before discussing the benefits and how to make water hyacinth a valuable product, it never hurts to know the negative effects of this plant in the environment.

1. Silting of water

In Indonesia, there are many swamps, reservoirs and rivers that are used for various needs of the local population. For example for irrigation, power generation and fish farming. If there is water hyacinth, these beneficial waters cannot function properly anymore.

This is because these weeds absorb water. Because it grows quickly, more and more of the water contained in swamps, reservoirs and rivers will decrease in volume. Because the volume is reduced, ultimately the benefits of water areas also do not function properly.

2. Destroying fish farming

One way to cultivate fish in Indonesian waters is to use karamba. Karamba is a basket or box made from bamboo slats to grow fish for example in swamps or rivers.

If there is a flow of water, this plant will also be carried by the water and drag the karamba as a fish farm. Of course it will have an impact on the fish that live in it, even causing huge losses.

3. Blocking traffic in the water

These handicraft raw material plants, if grown in water, will increase in number in a short time. If there is water traffic such as a boat or boat, then this plant can block the waterways from running.

4. Clog irrigation

In irrigation the problem is the same. If there are these plants, the irrigation canal will be filled so as to clog the existing irrigation system. As a result, all the benefits and needs obtained from irrigation are not obtained.

Woven Mat, source : Freepik
Woven Mat, source : Freepik

Solution for water hyacinth

With various losses obtained from the growth of water hyacinth in the Indonesian aquatic environment, finally the solution is obtained. Indeed, the solution is not to spend the existence of this plant, but at least can control the amount. Furthermore, solutions to uncontrolled weed growth can be of economic value.

This plant, when it has grown to a maximum length of about 45 to 60 cm, through various processes, can be a raw material for various handicraft products. The process includes drying, sorting, division into several parts, preserving and bleaching so that the color is whitish.

When finished processing, this plant turns into raw material in the form of long strands. These strands are then woven with various types of woven patterns. This can then be formed into a variety of high-value products.

Various products are produced from raw materials from these weeds in the form of sandals, chairs, baskets, bags, doormats and others. If you pay attention, the whole process of turning this plant into a valuable product has several advantages compared to the production process of other natural ingredients.

The excess raw materials for water hyacinth

If you pay attention, the raw material for handicrafts derived from water hyacinth turns out to be the same as a variety of other natural plant fibers which were also used as raw materials for making various products. Like crafts made from pandan leaves, banana stems and other natural fibers. But water hyacinth has advantages compared to other natural fibers. These advantages include:

  1. The ingredients are easy to get
  2. Low price
  3. The process is easy
  4. The shape is unique
  5. High value products.

That’s the origin of water hyacinth in Indonesia and information on the use of water hyacinth into a valuable product. Hopefully this will be interesting information and useful insights for us. Check out more information on other craft products on the page Harmoni Kreasi.