Riau Province Boosts Palm Oil Smallholders Welfare Through Partnership

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Doc. Sawit Fest 2021 / Aceng Sofian

PALMOILMAGAZINE, PEKANBARU – The government, through strategic programs managed by the Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA), is offering promising opportunities to improve the well-being of palm oil planters.

Brigadier General (Ret.) Edy Natar Nasution, the Governor of Riau in Duty, has unveiled a new initiative aimed at enhancing the management and cultivation of the palm oil industry in the province. Speaking in Pekanbaru, Edy emphasized the importance of strong collaboration among the government, planters’ associations, banks, and private sectors to ensure the success of every program, as the achievement of these goals relies on effective cooperation and dedication from all relevant parties.

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One of the primary focuses of these strategic programs is the enhancement of plantation infrastructure. Nasution pointed out that well-developed infrastructure would contribute to increased palm oil production and productivity. This initiative encompasses the improvement of roads, irrigation systems, and the provision of stable sources of electricity. With robust and high-quality infrastructure in place, planters will find it easier to access markets and distribute their harvest.

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Besides, PFMA also offered trainings and education scholarship to escalate human resource capacity in palm oil plantation sectors to get knowledge and new skill to cultivate their plantations more efficient and sustainable. By having increasing qualification and knowledge, they would optimize their harvest and minimize negative impacts for the environment.

The government has been doing significant thing for the planters, which is, smallholders replanting program. It was designed to maintain and escalate palm oil production and productivity. The candidates to get the program, which is, the planters’ institutions, should do replanting theirs. They are suggested to get good partnership from the planting until distributing their harvests to mill(s).

Nasution also emphasized that partnership should be comprehensive, it should cover many aspects from the upstream to downstream sectors which means, the planters (smallholders) and the partners should have the agreement since palm oil plantation was developed until its trade. It means, the smallholders would be having sustainability and welfare.

“The partnership should cover upstream to downstream sectors and those in partnership should get certainty, starting from the planting to the trade,” he said, as Palmoilmagazine.com quoted from the official page of Riau Province, Monday (6/11/2023).

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In this context, it is significant to get the roles from planters’ associations, banks, and private sectors. They are hoped to support the government’s initiative by delivering technical helps, fund, and cooperation to develop plantation infrastructures. The cooperation would be not only in financial advantages but also in reinforcing network among stakeholders, creating conducive environmental business, and supporting economy locally.

Besides discussing strategic programs, Nasution also told that it needs to be transparent in executing the programs. He emphasized that every activity, fund allocation, and output should be announced to the public. Transparency is developed to get trust from the people towards government and related instances, create sustainable programs in long term.

In his closing statement, Nasution also emphasized that it is not easy to welfare the planters (smallholders). And the government could not work alone. It needs good, collaborative cooperation from many parties. In the climate chance and environmental sustainability which become the issues in the globe, the programs would be useful for the planters, local people to the sustainability of this planet.

First thing to do is that Riau Province would get strong basic to realize the goal. By having good cooperation and will, Riau would go forward to realize more sustainable, fair, and prosperous future. Hopefully, the collaborative ways would create not only welfare for the planters but also be the inspiration for other regions to develop the same initiative and Indonesia would always be developing as sustainable agrarian country. (T2)

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