InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - PT Unggul Widya Teknologi Lestari (UWTL), according to the former General Director of Plantation, Ministry of Agriculture, Badrun, is the pioneer to develop palm oil plantation within PIR-Trans in eastern Indonesia that now becomes District of Mamuju Utara (Matra), West Sulawesi. Since 1987, PT UWTL started developing it in Village of Baras, District of Matra. It was isolated and remote area. There was no way to the location.
The investors did not want to invest in Mamuju for it was difficult to get. There was no infrastructure there.
The regional income per capita was small and the region needed business to run the economy.
PT UWTL developed palm oil areas in the region and automatically it hired the workers and increased the people’s income and economy.
PT UWTL was founded by Tjiungwanara Njoman. It was the first company in Mamuju that developed palm oil areas through PIR Trans scheme on a 17.000 hectare area. But, PT UWTL should develop the way, about 30 km and hire 6500 workers.
This showed that the palm oil plantation company is not for business only but also is the agent to develop and change the social lives. The company hired the people around to work and stimulated the business (service and trade) to grow in the district.
The company also built public and social facility to the people. The company made them better than the previous.
“Developing palm oil plantation in the region is not business only but also about the future to be developed,” Njoman said.
Having modal loan from Bank Dagang, about Rp 50 billion, PT UWTL started running its business at the time. In the same time when enlarging palm oil plantation, Bank Perkreditan Rakyat (BPR) was made in 1989. Then in 1990 a fish industry (to frozen), PT Budidaya Mamuju within 3.600 tons and ice block production within 15 tons/day was built too.
At the time, Abdul Kadir Samming, who became Estate Manager PT UWTL and worked since it was enlarging palm oil plantation said, the remote areas made the company difficult to get workers. They were reluctant to work in plantation for it was far from where they live and had no land access. “It was sea transportation to get to the plantation. There were few small boats only,” he said.(T2)
(Published in InfoSAWIT May 2012)