Kotim Smallholders Appreciate Regency Response to Complaints, Call for FFB Governance Regulation

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FFB. Photo by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Raihan Aidilah

PALMOILMAGAZINE, KOTIM – On March 5, 2024, an article titled “Cooperatives in Kotim Complain about Rampant Theft and Plasma Demands” was published by the national media outlet Antara in Central Kalimantan Province. It reported that 28 unions in Kotawaringin Timur (Kotim) were facing issues.

Yunan Nasution, Chairman of the Non-Government Organization Duta Sampit and a member of the Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (Apkasindo) Kotim, expressed appreciation for the actions taken by the Kotim Regency to address these issues.

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Nasution stressed the importance of the regional government publishing regulations regarding the trade of fresh fruit bunches (FFB). He explained that there are three parties involved in selling or transporting FFB to mills: firstly, FFB from local smallholders not in partnership with unions or companies should be sold directly to middlemen; secondly, middlemen who have partnerships with unions or companies; and thirdly, unions with legal institutions or partnerships with companies.

Also Read : Kotim Regent Will Coordinate Regarding Massive Palm Oil Theft

“By publishing regulation clearly, FFB stealing or pillage from the company(ies’) plantations would be as minimal as it could. This would happen because of a clear FFB trade to mills that middlemen and or unions should report selling data to the mills before having FFB trade,” he said, as in the official statement to Palmoilmagazine.com, Thursday (14/03/2024).

The company that wants to purchase FFB from the partners of union and or middlemen, should not get it if it is not the same with harvest data from the smallholders or unions. It means, FFB should be from the unions or smallholders’ production.

Besides the regulation would minimize FFB stealing, it would escalate the revenue in a region from the middlemen permit and FFB trading which eventually would escalate the local revenue in Kotim.

“The polemic between the people and palm oil plantation companies should be seriously followed up. The clear legal and people’s welfare should be the prior. Responding to what the people’s claims on 20 percent plasma program from business rights of companies, this is a regular standard from the Government’s Regulation Number 26 / 2021 about Management in Agriculture. That is why their claim should be realized according to the available regulation,” he said.

It is also important to understand that every issue has its own authority. The issues about conflict, violation, supervision, permit, and others should be solved according to related parties’ authority and function.

He continued, the company(ies) should be taking bigger responsibility not in profit calculation from their investment. Before publishing a regulation, there should be clear principles which means, earth as the natural resource should be well maintained for the people’s welfare. One sample as a model of learning is Regency of Tanah Bumbu that regulates the company(ies) to develop plasma partnership for the people and it protects the plasma smallholders(T2)

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