Viral, Smallholder Sent Letter to President Joko Widodo

Viral, Smallholder Sent Letter to President Joko Widodo

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Regulation by regulation that the government published about palm oil industries in the past six months really made the smallholders get worse.

Fresh fruit bunch (FFB) produced by the smallholders gets cheaper and cannot be sold though crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives export ban was revoked.

This made Soaduon Edo Sitorus (47), a smallholder who has palm oil plantations in Riau Proivince send open letter to President Joko Widodo.

Without having tricks, as the responsibility on his open letter, the smallholder and independent smallholder campaigner who graduated from undergraduate in forest department and Msi, he also wrote down his phone numbers.

Here is the snippet of his open letter:

Dear President Joko Widodo,

Is it worth implementing domestic price obligation and domestic price obligation (DMO and DPO) and non - tax citation which most of the cash is for biodiesel program subsidy and palm cooking oil subsidy that the smallholders should burden?

Is not it better if the burdens and citation should be in the upstream sectors but for those who own tens or even hundreds thousand hectares of Business License that the country facilitated for the stakeholders?

Many educated people and I chose to be smallholders. But what we have earned for our livings is in a mass because of the policy published by Dear Sir and the People in your government.

The country led by Mister President did publish the policy when we as smallholders are having massive harvests. Our fresh fruit bunch (FFB) gets cheaper from Rp 3.500 to be Rp 1500s until now. FFB in the neighborhood country is about to be Rp 5.000/kg. We get almost one third of their price. Our FFB gets cheaper because it is not cheap but because of your policy. This is bad for the smallholders but you, Sir, still implement it. This is very cruel for the smallholders.

In this massive harvest, ours is good because of the maximal nursery and fertilization we did. It was helped by the rainy season in this year. We spent much to buy the expensive fertilizers which increased almost 300 percent from the normal price.

But you, Sir, made us like being hit by the thunder in daily light. For being in harvest, we have to sell our production like one decade ago. Our hard work, capital, and knowledge that we expect with God should be blown away by power and oppression. Everything happens because you, Sir, stopped the export activity without paying attention to us, the smallholders.

He thought, the re-opened the export activity but within close and complicated regulations postponed the exports. The smallholders, he continued, get much burden. This will be bad for us to nurse and fertilize our plantations. This would impact to the next harvests and our plantation health in the future.

He also questioned the logics developed that makes smallholders in misery, burden every biodiesel subsidy and palm cooking oil. The fact is that DMO, DPO, and non – tax citation are taken by the country through Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA) in the upstream sectors.

If palm oil fund is gathered, it is better if from those who own and cultivate tens or hundreds thousand hectares of Business License that the country facilitated? Added by the planters having hundreds or thousand hectares of palm oil plantations that have no Plantation Business License and Business License?

“I am always update to what your ‘men’ do about palm oil issue. I think, what we face has no solution still. Every revision from the published regulations cannot be the dimmer light to recover our FFB price. This would be having solution if DMO, DPO, and non-tax citation ran by PFMA are for the upstream sectors that have Business Licenses,” he said.

He continued, if the citation runs in the downstream sectors like it is running now, we, the smallholders would be burdened more. PFMA should get the citation from the companies having Business License.

He hoped, President Joko Widodo would get mad when you read this because your anger would be the solution to improve the roots of the problem. “Millions of poor smallholders would be free from the regulations which I think, it is in misconception. Respect to Mister President. Hopefully you are strong enough to think of this nation’s issues,” Soaduon Edo Sitorus, the smallholder at 081364410591. (T5)