Palm Oil in the Food, Energy Security and its Contribution in SDGs

Palm Oil in the Food, Energy Security and its Contribution in SDGs

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – According to Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) the food material from palm oil, besides to be cooking oil, there are 36 kinds more to use, such as, margarine, nuts, ice cream, coffe whiteners, palm based yoghurt, vanaspati, sugar confectionary, flour confectionary, and more.            

Palm oil really produces healthier food for some reasons, such as, the first, it is free from trans-fat because semi-solid texture makes it not need the hydrogenation process.

The second, it has kinds of more vitamin, such as, according to Palm Oil Human Nutrition (1989), the highest vitamin E of other kinds of vegetable oil. Tocopherol and tocotrienol in palm oil are the anti-oxiandt in vitamin E, and according to Hariyadi (2010), it has more vitamin A than carrot and tomatoes.

Palm oil has balanced essential fatty acid too. Tocopherol and tocotrienol as the anti-oxiandt, based on the research, could be against cancer, cardiovascular, nerves cell degeneration, oxidative stress, and immunity system.

If it relates to the vegetable oil needs in the world, according to PASPI (2016), in 2050 the needs would be 340 million tons. The sources of vegetable oil needs in the world are rapeseed, olive oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, besides palm oil. Based on the field fact, palm oil plantations have the highest productivity of other kinds of vegetable oil.

Palm oil is the most efficient one to produce for it is environmental and effective in land use. Knowing that many kinds of derivative food products need palm oil and the advantages to nutrition and health and effective land use, palm oil plantations are the sources of food security to maintain and develop.

Besides for the food, it contributes to supply energy. The biodiesel 20 (B20) program was launched by the government in 2015 while the biodiesel itself is from the process. In 2019 Indonesia is the biggest palm oil producer in the world. It means that biodiesel mandatory program would give advantages to save the diesel import, make the renewable energy security, and reduce CO2 emission. The biomass from the plantation could be advantaged as the source of bioethanol or the substitution of premium. But bioethanol itself is being developed still.

The liquid waste from palm oil factory could be processed to be biogas (the source to electricity) through the biogas digester tanks. It could be 223 million tons per year. The biogas itself would be 3179 million cubic gas per year. The biogas production/bio-electricity has been implemented in some factories, such as, in East Kalimantan.

The third, the renewable energy from palm oil could be the substitution of the fossil energy and the support to energy security nationally.

On the other hand, the human resources really relate to the social economy. The plantations have developed the potential in the villages and men in the employment. Developing palm oil plantation would take the local people that make them have their own plantations. It is proved from the numbers of Perkebunan Inti Rakyat (PIR). Its composition from the cultivations reached 41% nationally. (Ministry of Agriculture, 2015).

The industries are the big place to provide employment and the income sources for the smallholders. The industries influence the people in common. It happens for the increasing consumption, investment, and export to have bigger advantages. The economic equity and the poverty alleviation in the villages are the chance to work, business (small and middle) by selling fertilizers, tool, machines, pesticides, and of course, the food material.

The data in picture 1 proved that the family business of the smallholders drastically increased. In 1990 there were only 142 thousand units, in 2016, the business covered more than 2 million units. Not only the smallholders, but also the (small and middle) business of the non-palm oil plantation owners increased fast. These happen for the high demand on food and non-food materials in the villages around the plantations, namely from the labors (workers). This increased the people’s income and improved the gaps of income among themselves who work or do not work in the plantations. On the other hand, there are profitable and sustainable bonds among the people around the plantations and those who provide food material, such as, the breeder, fisherman, and others.

From the description and knowing that palm oil industries are in the villages in 190 districts, it is imaginable that the economy takes place, and the plantations decrease the unemployment. The plantations are the economy sectors having many workers and kinds of works. The logic is that every additional palm oil production would happen if there are increasing workers.

As the same with that, according to PASPI (2014) the plantations in general would be more accommodative to the background of the workers in the villages and would hire them easily. This is the same with Ministry of Agriculture saying that from 2000, 2010, 2015, and 2016 in a row, there were increasing workers about 2.1 million, 4.9 million, 8.0 million, and 8.2 million. These are positive to increase the quality of business and quantity of workers.

The other is that the plantations are in the remote, abandoned, and isolated areas. The companies automatically constructed the way or bridges to farm business. The companies also develop main and plasma plantations to PIR, develop the housing for the workers, education and health, social, and public institutions. This argument is the same with the facts from Ministry of Transmigration and Labors (2014) saying that until 2013, at least, 50 isolated areas developed to be the new areas and the centers of CPO productions. Goenadi (2008) said that more than 6 million men involved in the palm oil plantations were out of poverty. On the other words, if the economic capacity in the villages increases, in the output, the income, work opportunity would not be in the plantations only but also in the whole, such as, the financial institutions, restaurants, hotels, food factories, and be positive for the cities because of the people’s dynamic. Developing palm oil plantation is not only developing the villages directly but also developing the cities indirectly.

It is clear that the positive from the plantations is not for the people who directly involve but also the non-plantation people both in the villages and cities. This means that palm oil plantation industries are inclusive.

In the sustainable palm oil development, there have been ISPO (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil) and regulated in the Regulation of Minister of Agriculture No. 11/ Permentan/ OT.140/3/2015 and RSPO (Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil) and it is optional. The plantations have contributed to empower the people’s economy, communal social, environmental responsibility, the food and renewable energy supports. Indonesia should realize the comparative superiority and should be supported to accelerate this country to the SDGs.

(Writer: Tegar Nur Hidayat/Student of Machine Technic, and FATETA Bio-system Department, Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB)


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