Improving Competence and Quality, Keys for Smallholders to Get Better

PALM OIL MAGAZINE
Coordinator of Institutions Directorate of Palm Oil and Various Palm, Ministry of Agriculture, Mula Putera said before perusahaan inti rakyat (PIR) program was introduced, characteristic, case, and solution to escalate palm oil plantation productivity were the concerns to be improved. Photo by: palmoilmagazine.com

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – Currently, palm oil plantations in Indonesia cover approximately 16.38 million hectares, with an average growth rate of about 6 percent. Despite this expansive development, the palm oil sector confronts various challenges, including issues related to war, climate, and productivity.

The invasion of Iraq and Kuwait in 2002 had a significant impact, and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, among other factors, further complicates the landscape.

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The productivity of palm oil plantations is estimated at around 4 tons of crude palm oil (CPO) per hectare per year. However, actual yields in the field may be lower due to factors such as the structure of planters’ institutions, diverse forest regions, lack of uniformity, and policies directed towards downstream programs.

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Additionally, the historical context of palm oil in Indonesia reveals its initial imposition as a forced plant for industrialization and income escalation. Over time, independent smallholders have emerged as key players in the sector, necessitating ongoing development, evaluation, access to fertilizers, and the provision of high-quality and suitable seeds.

Coordinator of Institutions Directorate of Palm Oil and Various Palm, Ministry of Agriculture, Mula Putera said before perusahaan inti rakyat (PIR) program was introduced, characteristic, case, and solution to escalate palm oil plantation productivity were the concerns to be improved. Socialization about regulation, transparency, and evaluation in phase were taken as the keys. Smallholders’ supply chain involved some steps of sale that showed the complexity in this industrial structure.

That is why Mula told, the government tries its best by having human resource development in palm oil plantations by focusing to deliver education, trainings, counseling, and development/facilities.”

“The program covers education technical recommendation about 3.660 and 10.938 trainings in 2021 – 2023. The goals are about to escalate production and productivity, qualify the needs of palm oil workers within qualified and competent human resources,” he said when being a speaker in the 3rd Indonesia Palm Oil Smallholder Conference and Expo (IPOSC) with the theme “Optimalisasi Sawit Rakyat Sebagai Penghasil Devisa di Pusaran Tata Kelola Sawit Berkelanjutan”, that Palmoilmagazine.com attended, Tuesday (28/11/2023) in Jambi

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Transformation wanted should cover collaboration among the smallholders, stakeholders, the government, science, and technology, and smallholders’ plantations. Ever party should cooperate to get the goal – increase plantation productivity up to 30 – 40 tons fresh fruit bunch per hectare with the yield 23 – 25 percent, and implement sustainable practices.

Mula Putera critically questioned the audience (smallholders). “Would you be a supplier or a player? Suppliers just sell. That is why smallholders should be the players, just like the stakeholders. But the question continues, would you change? Only you can answer it,” Mula said. (T2)

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