InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - The palm oil production per hectare (ha) is more than it from other kinds of vegetable oil. The average could be 4 tons of oil including the kernel per hectare per year. It is more than the soybean which reaches about 0,5 ton oil per hectare per year or rapeseed which reaches 0,7 ton of rapeseed oil/ha per year.
It needs to understand too that every product from the wood/fiber plantation, the leaves, the fruit, and the seeds in the tropical areas must have better production than those in the sub-tropical ones.
This happens for the vegetation is from the photosynthetic which needs absolute sunshine. In the tropical areas, the sunshine is much more than it in sub-tropical areas.
So it is normal if the wood plantations in Indonesia would spend about 7 to 10 years to process but in European Union it would spend about 40 years. This is the same with palm oil which has more productivity than canola or others. But unfortunately this is not maximally advantage to create the good food and others.
Having the smaller numbers of productivity, the vegetable oil in the sub-tropical areas needs wider areas and it is the fact. It is imaginable the output of carbon emission that could be higher.
The question remains, why does palm oil development have issue about its contribution to produce carbon emission? The plantations around the world are about 20 million hectares, including after the implementation of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificate. According to Ministry of Agriculture, the palm oil plantations in Indonesia lay about 14,2 million ha.
The plantations in Indonesia are parts of land in this country which Ministry of Environment and Forestry claimed about 181 million ha within the forests about 121 million ha or 67% of the land.
If compared with soybean which lays about 125 million ha. It seems that it is let to cultivate freely. The rapeseed and sunflower could be reaching 30 million hectares for each.
It needs to admit too that the cultivation of natural resources in palm oil plantations needs to be improved knowing that many policies are not supporting one to another.
By knowing the data, it needs to understand that palm oil is not the main source of deforestation in the world. What about the areas used to livestock which could be reaching three fourth of the agricultural areas in the world? The livestock areas were the forests, weren’t they?
(Teguh Patriawan/ Vice Chairman of Standing Committee of Plantation Development, Indonesian Chambers)
This article was published in InfoSAWIT, March 2019