InfoSAWIT, SUNGAI MELAYU –When palm oil plantation was firstly enlarged in Sub district of Tumbang Titi, District of Ketapang, Toro (42) of Village of Pengatapan Raya, told that he was young and still in elementary school. It is no question, Toro who is now the Head of Village of Pengatapan Rayadoes really understand the progress of palm oil areas in the village.
In 1995 he said, for the first time, Benua Indah Group (BIG) whose assets have been taken over by BumitamaGunajaya Agro (BGA) Group from the auction process, had bad financial issue. But it was better in 1997/1998. “I understand what happened that moment. But I could not do anything for I was in elementary school,” he recently said.
In 2006, when BIG had the second financial issue for being failed to pay the credit to Bank Mandiri. Then the assets of BIG were sealed by the Bank. He continued, he already graduated from high school and struggled for the assets of BIG to be managed by other companies. “I was in the team 10 and made consultation with the Legislators by hoping, there would be other investors taking over the asset of BIG to be re-managed,” he said.
Toro mentioned, 19 investors had been offered to take over the assets of BIG. But no one wanted for the social issue.
In 2015, BGA Group bought the assets of BIG. He hoped, the smallholders could have the same condition just like they used to. He also promised to support every program that the company would do. “We understand that it is important asset. There should be good communication and but no in-trick,” he said.
He also told that the villagers are still suspicious for they faced the bad situation when BIG managed the plantation. But he ensured, it happened for the villagers do not really understand and he himself tries to socialize the program. “99% of us support it,” he said.
For the company has operated the plantation, he hoped, the company wants to buy and collect the villagers’ FFB and should be in the same price that is decided by the government.
He ensured, the presence of the factory would increase their income. “For the cheap transportation cost to deliver FFB, we might get better income,” he said(Atep Y)