Pandemic Could End the Smallholders’ Economy

Pandemic Could End the Smallholders’ Economy

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - The recent issue saying that palm oil factory (POF) in Rokan Hulu, Riau Province not operating was the biggest concern for the smallholders when Covid-19 hits the bumi lancing kuning.

It is normal if they worried about because many smallholders depend on palm oil plantations. If they could not sell their fresh fruit bunch (FFB) or work in the plantation, there would be no income. They also do not other source of income from other sectors.

Chairman of Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS), Rokan Hulu, Yusro Fadly said that the local smallholders were confused after one man was positively hit by Covid-19 in the district. But the government of Rokan Hulu directly published the circulars to ensure that the POF in the district should keep operating in the pandemic. But it needs to be aware of the situation by publishing the policy to minimize the negative economy impacts in the society.

Until now Rokan Hulu is one district within the vastest palm oil plantations in Riau Province, reaching about 535 thousand hectares (ha) within the POF reaching about 46 units. “The smallholders worried if the pandemic keeps happening, Dumai could implement big scale social distancing or pembatasan sosial berskala besar (PSBB). There would be no crude palm oil (CPO) and shell exports,” he said in the online discussion done by Persatuan Organisasi Petani Kelapa Sawit (POPSI) that InfoSAWIT joined in the end of April 2020. (T2)

For more, please read InfoSAWIT, Mau 2020

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