Because of Cheap FFB, Smallholders Planted Cassava in Sergai

Because of Cheap FFB, Smallholders Planted Cassava in Sergai

InfoSAWIT, SERGAI – Fresh fruit bunch (FFB) price does not get better in the past few months though President Joko Widodo revoked crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivative export ban which the smallholders assumed as the factor to make FFB cheaper.

In District of Serdang Bedagai (Sergai), North Sumatera Province, the uncertain price made the smallholders have two options. They are afraid to be better if only planting palm oil trees.

“The independent smallholders are doubtful on planting palm oil because it is cheap. Some thought, cassava is more profitable now for the smallholders,” Regent of Sergai, Darma Wijaya said, Thursday (9/6/2022).

He told that to Minister of Cooperation Small Medium Business, Teten Masduki who met the smallholders in person in the district.There was Chairman of Koperasi Sawit Unggul Sejahtera, Gus Dalhari Harahap and hundreds of smallholders. For information, Teten Masduki was there in order to tell the plan of red palm cooking oil mill construction.

Darma Wijaya also mentioned, the up and down FFB price made the smallholders confused. “They sometimes planted cassava. If it gets more expensive than FFB price, it is afraid that the smallholders would plant cassava only,” Darma said as in the official statement to InfoSAWIT, Friday (10/6/2022).

The plan to develop red palm cooking oil mill by the cooperation, he is ready to provide location in District of Sergai.

Meanwhile Minister Masduki took the smallholders in Sergai to join in cooperation and build red palm cooking oil mill to contribute in palm cooking oil procurement in this country. “We need to develop (build) palm oil cooperation which would not depend on the industries and the smallholders would get profits from FFB selling,” Minister Masduki said.

He continued, the smallholders would get added values and get advantages from palm oil business. The technology to produce red palm cooking oil is now in Pusat Penelitian Kelapa Sawit (PPKS) Medan. It is simple and he is optimist, the cooperation could develop red palm cooking oil mill. It would spend Rp 7 billion of investment to produce 5 tons of red palm cooking oil per hour by the technology.

“If the mill operates, it is hoped, palm cooking oil supply to the people would be better, cheaper, and healthier. The derivative products could be for cosmetics, pharmacy, and others,” Minister Masduki said. His side emphasized that cooperation could get the fund from PFMA, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia, and LPDB-KUMKM (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Bergulir) to build it.

In the same spot, Chairman of Koperasi Sawit Unggul Sejahtera, Gus Dalhari Harahap said, the smallholders’ palm oil plantations in Sergai laid about 1.800 hectares. He thought, the smallholders are confused by the FFB price.

“We only have hope here. We do support food independency. Please, realize our hope and hopefully, the visit of Minister Masduki could be the solution to what we face,” Harahap said. (T5)