The Green Fingers of the Planters

A planter (left) tells what to do to fertilization for the smallholder’s palm oil plantation (right)
The Green Fingers of the Planters

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA –It seems that, palm oil plantations are developed only by the helps of the government ever since 1989 to 1990s by making the scheme helps through the National Big Private Plantation or Perkebunan Swasta Besar Nasional and the fund support from Kredit Likuiditas Bank Indonesia (KLBI). At the time, the process to get license to enlarge the plantation was easy. It is normal that some big private plantation companies got the areas up to hundreds of thousands hectares.

Based on what InfoSAWIT got, palm oil plantations were developed by developing the smallholders’ plantations, by the making of kinds of partnership schemes, such as, PIR Bun, PIR Trans, Kredit Koperasi Primer untuk Anggota (KKPA) up to Revitalisasi Perkebunan  (Revitbun). In this era, the smallholders’ plantations developed very fast.


But the big palm oil plantations companies have the largest ones. According to General Directorate of Plantation, Ministry of Agriculture, palm oil plantations in Indonesia have been 14,03 million hectares. 7,7 million hectares or about 55% of the total plantations are cultivated by the big private plantation companies


5,6 million hectares or 40% of the total plantations are cultivated by the smallholders. The government’s companies or the Enterprises cultivate 710 thousand hectares or 5% of the total plantations.


The wide palm oil plantations developed by the big private companies did not happen because of the investment and the government as the regulator. But the fact and hardly forgotten, the fast development nationally happens for the the planters’ intervention.


Without planters, palm oil plantations might not be developed just like now. It is admitted or not, it is not easy to develop the plantations.


For the locations are in the remote areas, some plantations are difficult to pass through. In addition, the infrastructure (way) may be not as good as in the cities.


The work ethos and professionalism of the planters become the keys to develop the plantations fast. According to Indonesian Palm Oil Board (IPOB), by 2030 it is predicted that the total workers in the plantations, such as, executor, field foreman, field assistant (staff), the head assistant, manager could be 6,37 million men within the needs of employees reaching 2,05 million men. The numbers do not include the directors, finance officers, and administration officers.


Meanwhile the workers in palm oil factory, covering the manager, assistant manager, employee, staff of laboratory in 2030 may be reaching 111.128 men within the additional needs reaching 41.637 men.


It is clear that the planters are not underestimated anymore. Knowing the wide palm oil plantations in Indonesia, the planters are the mobilizers to operate the plantations nationally.


This article once published in InfoSAWIT Magazine, September 2018


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