Disappointed for Getting Cheap FFB, Smallholders Cut off Palm Oil Trees

Disappointed for Getting Cheap FFB, Smallholders Cut off Palm Oil Trees

InfoSAWIT, LAMPUNG – What the central government published to provide palm cooking oil or to maintain its price both in bulk and packaged, always changes. This impacts to cheap fresh fruit bunch (FFB) price produced by the independent smallholders.

Slowly but surely, the smallholders’ FFB price gets cheaper and cheaper nationally. It was about Rp 3.000s to be at least, Rp 1.200 per kilogram.

This made many smallholders disappointed. The smallholders in Lampung province took it in simple way. Having no consideration, they cut off their palm oil trees and substituted by other plantations.

“I did that. I cut off the trees from half of my plantations. I planted sugarcane, banana, and corn,” Abdullah Simanjuntak said to  InfoSAWIT, Thursday (9/6/2022) noon. The 71 year - old man is an independent smallholder and Chairman of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (Apkasindo) Lampung Province.

He is confident to cut of the trees because there have been buyer candidates to get the production of non-palm oil commodity. He told that many smallholders planted corn in their former palm oil plantations and got harvest 3 times in a year.

“Corn in the middlemen level is about Rp 6.000/kg. One hectare of corn plantation could get at least, Rp 50 million in a year,” he said. He and other smallholders planted sugarcane and banana which are easy to harvest and in a very short time. They cooperate with South Korean company in purchase.

In sugarcane, they are in cooperation with some private companies, including PT Gunung Madu Lampung. Other plantation, such as, cassava, there have been candidates of buyers.

Simanjuntak emphasized, the plantation and agricultural characteristic in Lampung is different from Riau or Jambi. He said, the two provinces could not do anything besides planting palm oil. But Lampung is different. When FFB price gets cheaper, the independent smallholders can plant other commodities in half of their plantations.

“There are many non-palm oil companies that buy other commodities. If talking about sugar, we have many sugar, cassava, and other factories. It did not take some time to decide what we would do when FFB price gets cheaper like it is now happening,” Simanjuntak said. (T5)