Palmoilmagazine, Ria Astuti Safitri, Sawitfest 2021
Palmoilmagazine, BENGKULU – In 2019, Karman and other independent smallholders that join Kelompok Tani (Poktan) Muda, Village of Marga Bhakti, Sub district of Pinang Raya, District of Bengkulu Utara, Bengkulu Province were excited to join and implement smallholders replanting program (SRP).
They imagined they would get brighter future knowing that fresh fruit bunch (FFB) got more expensive in phase. They also knew that other smallholders in other regions did SRP.
Unfortunately, after waiting for three years, their plantations are in harvest but FFB gets cheaper. They have bad lucks because when their plantations are just in the first harvest, the FFB gets cheaper and cheaper.
“Our plantations in SRP covered 185 hectares. About 50% of the plantations are in the first harvest. But FFB gets cheaper, only Rp 1.050 to Rp 1.150 per kilogram," the Chairman of Poktan Muda, Karman (39) said to Palmoilmagazine yesterday.
They sold their production to the middlemen. The smallholders do not manage cooperation with any palm oil company in Sub district of Pinang Raya.
"We decided, FFB selling is handed over to each smallholder. It is up to them where to sell. So, we sold it to the middlemen. It is our FFB price in average,” Karman said.
He also mentioned, knowing that FFB gets cheaper, the smallholders are lazy to nurse their plantations and it influenced our FFB quality.
“Luckily, the middlemen have good heart. They only sold the big FFB to the mills,” he said.
He admitted, he and his fellows in Poktan Muda are shock to see the reality. Some of them, Karman continued, do not nurse the plantations well.
“It spends much to nurse the plantations, namely to buy the fertilizers. Some of just nurse as they would to. Not maximal. We do not know what other smallholders who do not harvest theirs, would experience,” he said.
He never knows when it would last but hoped that the government pays attention to what the smallholders experience. (T5)