Do Take the Smallholders if They Are Abandoned Eventually

Do Take the Smallholders if They Are Abandoned Eventually

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – The management of Palm oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA) is the key to strengthen the smallholders from the financial perspective. The palm oil public service obligation (PSO) managed by ministry of finance, as a matter of fact, gets away from the smallholders’ interests because the decision makers in the steering committee involved 4 rich men who master almost 1,5 million hectares (ha) of palm oil plantations in Indonesia.

Referring to the Decision of Coordinator Minister in Economy No. 134/2020, the Chairman of Steering Committee is Coordinator Minister in Economy that selected four names from biodiesel industries and palm oil plantation owners. The agency also has supervisor board. Unfortunately it is part of the bureaucracy of the ministers in the steering committee which is also as the policy maker.

The sense of interest in PFMA gets clearer for making the palm oil associations as the supervisory board which is decided through the Regulation of Minister of Finance No. 259 / 2020. The associations have the interests in the B30 supply chain. “How to monitor PFMA correctly and take partisanship to the smallholders?” Kaukus Petani Kelapa Sawit mentioned while proposes online petition to the president, coordinator minister in economy, and minister of finance.

The gap gets clearer, such as, PFMA spent about Rp 29,2 billion for biodiesel industries since 2016 to December 2019. The presence of the rich men in the palm oil PSO made the B30 program which they also run got the subsidy from PEN (penanggulangan ekonomi nasional) up to Rp 2,78 billion.

General Secretary of Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS), Mansuetus Darto said that the involvement of the rich men and the association in PFMA makes the PSO not independent. “The agency should be well managed and should not take partisanship to the certain business groups. As the result, there would be more money to spend to their interest than to the smallholders as it is regulated in the UU Perkebunan No. 39 chapter 93 article 4, such as, to empower the human resources, the replanting, the infrastructure, and research about palm oil,” he said, as in the official written statement to InfoSAWIT, Friday (10/7/2020).

He also thought that there are big interests from the rich men to be in their position too secure the palm oil supply chain in B30. As the result, the exports have issues, such as, in the European Union policy which the Swiss farmers reject palm oil from Indonesia.

“All these year, they are the first men that take the smallholders in the context of diplomacy abroad to solve the palm oil trade issues. But in our country, they might never cooperate with the smallholders,” he said.

He continued that the rich men in palm oil need to prove that they have attention to the smallholders in Indonesia by processing the smallholders’ production 100%. “The government should prioritize the interests nationally, that is, 10 million smallholders rather than the interests of some people,” he said. (T2)

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