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The Role of Bilik Port in The Export of The Smallholder Rubber in Labuhan Batu and Padang Lawas Area Before The Economic Depression in 1930

  • Edi Sumarno Department of History, University of Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia
  • Junita Setiana Ginting Department of History, University of Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia
  • Nina Karina Purba Department of History, University of Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia
Issue       Vol 3 No 4 (2020): Talenta Conference Series: Local Wisdom, Social, and Arts (LWSA)
Section       Articles
Keywords: port export smallholder rubber Labuhan Bilik and Padang Lawas
Published 2020-12-04


Before the opening of Belawan Port in the early 20th century, Labuhan Bilik Port was one of the largest and most important ports in East Sumatra. Trading and shipping activities at Labuhan Bilik Port were supported by its geographical conditions with many rivers surrounding it that could even reach the hinterlands. Due to this condition, coupled with the limited land route infrastructures, residents in hinterlands utilized river transportation to sell agricultural products, especially the smallholder rubber. Labuhan Batu and Padang Lawas areas were known as large rubber plantation areas. To distribute their crops, residents in this area relied on Labuhan Bilik Port. It was a transit port for rubber farmers and traders. They could directly export the rubbers to the peninsula, such as Penang and Singapore. The discussion about the role of Labuhan Bilik Port for hinterland was explained by descriptive analysis. The use of sources such as periodic reports, colonial archives as well as other literature sources was needed to describe and explain the port activities in Labuhan Bilik. The role of Labuhan Bilik Port was significant considering that it was located at the confluence of two large rivers; Bilah River and Barumun River. The two rivers crossed the enclave of smallholder rubber farming even to the Padang Lawas (Tapanuli) area. In addition, the close distance between Labuhan Bilik and the Peninsula was also considered important due to the fact that there were a large number of traders exported smallholder rubber to Penang and Singapore