Photo by : Hanung Wahyudi / Sawitfest 2021
Palmoilmagazine, JAKARTA – The law enforcement found the factors of palm cooking oil issues and they are in legal process. “At least, I thought from the news, some ‘important people’ were the suspects about palm cooking oil issue,” an open letter written by one independent smallholder, Soaduon Sitorus that Palmoilmagazine recently got.
He wrote, if it is about palm cooking oil procurement, don’t you have ministries on charges to make sure that the stakeholders obey every regulation? You can instruct every element of the country to empower one to another because we are a very powerful and strong country.
“Don’t you have the power to substitute and select competent people?” he noted.
If a regulation has been published well, it should actually run normally and there is no more palm cooking oil issue, isn’t it?
But if there is no improvement after the suspects were announced, it needs to evaluate what the related ministries have done and the numbers in domestic market obligation (DMO)?
Why Export Ban
He also thought in his note that the country started to get the economic – political games in the global level to get its position as price controller.
By the explanation and knowing the field facts which had no anticipation on what has been decided to protect the most vulnerable side (the smallholders), Sitorus believed, export ban decision is about to make sure palm cooking oil stocks in this country.
“If this is the concept, if there is palm cooking oil rareness, stop the export with ‘Open-Close Export’ system. Won’t it break palm oil trade in this country which has been running for decades by many sides, Sir?” he noted.
Won’t it create uncertain trade on transaction contract because the export can be stopped in any time? This kind of perception would be a worry for every stakeholder.
“The uncertainty will lead many countries in needs to avoid their dependence,” he noted.
As the biggest producer in the world, shouldn’t we take care of certainty and create dependence to others on our mainstay product?
He wrote, Mister President might be angry with palm cooking oil issue. “But as a smallholder, please do not let your anger by choosing the short cut ‘Open – Close Export’ system. The impact would make trade chain in big mass. The smallholders are the placemat, Sir. Millions of smallholders depend on their production, Sir,” he noted.
It seems, Mr. President should know more how the smallholders’ long journeys during the fresh fruit bunch (FFB) is cheap. Most of the smallholders are not rich people but the poor who are in debts to the ‘rich men’.
This year, they had a big hope for the better FFB price though they have to re-think over about expensive fertilizers and pesticides.
“But heading to their happiness that they were waiting for, they lost some of their big hope when the FFB gets very cheap and even cut off up to 60%. This is not normal. Their source of income is really gone. Like a thunder from nowhere, they got hit. Some of them should be in tears heading to Idul Fitri. Hopefully God delivers solace for their family and can eat ‘ketupat’ again,” he said.
Sitorus also noted, if Mr. President meet the good smallholders who got income from palm oil plantations, please don’t forget to ask him, how wide he has had the plantation and what numbers of cash he spent on those. “They are not the portraits of general smallholders,” he noted. (T2)