Palm Oil is Promising, The Smallholders Keep Cultivating

Palm Oil is Promising, The Smallholders Keep Cultivating

Info SAWIT, JAKARTA -Until now in palm oil sector, the sustainability issue gets stronger and in the end, it is one of many factors to have and run the world trade though the sustainable products are still dominated by the demands from the European countries.

If the big private companies and the government make the sustainability a focus to develop the future palm oil, what about the smallholders or people when cultivating palm oil?

It is admitted, the sustainability issue is kept being socialized to the plasma and independent smallholders in the last five years. Do they think, sustainability issue is important when cultivating palm oil plantation?

Head of RCCC – UI, Sony Tambunan found something interesting. Based on his researches in two provinces, Riau and South Sumatera, covering 96 villages, and about 1.350 independent smallholders, about 69% of them want to enlarge in the areas or forest to plant palm oil. “The rests, 31% of them do not want to enlarge if they get compensation about Rp 115 million for every hectare they have though the numbers might be more,” he said when telling the result of the research in Jakarta.

The second question, would they substitute their work (not to be smallholders anymore)? 85% of them do not want to. If they want to, he continued, they asked for compensation, reaching about Rp 234 million per hectare. “So it may be said, the sustainability issue in palm oil is not the major thing for the smallholders. In a concept, it is difficult challenge for us,” he said.

So in the future, the focus of palm oil development in Indonesia is the smallholders having no partnership with the companies, or the government. They independently develop and have no limit to plant in the legal areas. It is predicted, most of them do not know they develop the commodity in the forest areas.

It needs the right solution. In the same time, there is database about the independent smallholders. In the late days, Ministry of  Agriculture has made data about them and published the Cultivation Documents and Environment Management Documents for the independent smallholders. The two kinds of documents are the conditions to get Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil(ISPO).

Unfortunately, the smallholders are not familiar to get the documents from Environment Agency. Besides, it is assumed, it is hard to get the documents too. “If it could, the process to get Cultivation Documents and Environment Management Documents should be free. We do hope, the process could be faster to get them,” Regent of Kotawaringin Barat, BambangPurwanto recently said in Jakarta. (T2)

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