Sawit Watch: Java was not designed to develop the palm oil industry

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Palm Oil Plantation. Photo by:

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – Tejo Wahyu Jatmiko from Perkumpulan Indonesia Berseru expressed concerns that despite the government’s stated priority on food security, it might not be addressing the food crisis with the necessary seriousness.

The government has not yet addressed food security seriously. Food issues are not minor. Agricultural areas are shrinking, the population is increasing, and productivity has only seen marginal improvements.

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“We constantly discuss food security, yet rely heavily on imports and the global food system. This system perpetuates hunger and dependence worldwide,” he stated in an official statement to on Sunday, May 19, 2024.

Alo Read: Debate Arises Over Palm Oil Plantations in Java Amid National Food Production Priorities

Tejo emphasized the need for food system transformation, urging the public to adopt wiser food consumption practices to help maintain food stability.

Meanwhile, the study results by Sawit Watch written in a book “Gula-gula Sawit di Pulau Jawa (Harapan Manis Berbuah Tangis?)”, found that (many) national – scale policy, Java Island was not designed (to develop) palm oil industries but should be focus more to other commodities, such as, sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, and coconut.

Palm oil in Java Island, including Banten Province, is not a superior commodity but it is an interesting one for its successful development in Sumatera and Kalimantan. Palm oil (plantations) also delivered issues, such as area conflicts, environment, and postponement of payment for smallholders.

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Executive Director of Sawit Watch, Achmad Surambo said that it should review palm oil development in Java Island. “Palm oil is taken as a strategic commodity in national scale but it needs to be reconsidered as a strategic commodity in the regions, particularly in Java Island,” he said.

Sawit Watch did recommend some things to solve the issue, such as, the first, it needs to review palm oil development in Java Island. The second, it needs to separate the regions to develop food and plantation commodities to protect food areas.

The third, it is important to get regional scale – regulations to protect sustainable food agricultural areas to maintain sources of food from the threat of land use – change. The fourth, it needs to propose social forestry through termination period within agroforestry or reforestation process to take advantages on ‘too late’ areas in forest regions.

The fifth, there should be no new palm oil planting in conservation areas, such as, coast, or down areas of mountains that have forest canopy. The sixth, it needs to supervise new palm oil plantations/land use – change to be palm oil in order not to get new issues.

By the approaches, it is hoped that Java would maintain its roles as food barn nationally and avoid issues that may happen from uncontrolled palm oil development. (T2)

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