InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - The villagers could realize and get better economy by having business themselves. That is why smallholders as actors or planters play their significant roles in the villages to take part in plantation empowerment to escalate their economy.
The people’s empowerment starts being popular in Indonesia since 1980s. palm oil plantations started developing in the form of Perkebunan Inti Rakyat within Transmigrasi (PIR-Trans) system. It cooperated with plantation companies as the main ones. They functioned to be avails (in charge) in the partnership program with the smallholders.
1980s was famous as the people’s empowerment program that many civil organizations or knowns as non-government organizations (NGOs) did. The concept got melted universally which the goal is about to conquer poverty which NGOs adopted.
The involvement of the Government of Indonesia as the organizer has something to do with palm oil plantation development until now. The plantation could produce fresh fruit bunch (FFB) successfully. If many years ago, palm oil was not planted, many companies could get nothing because palm oil plantation companies focused to plant palm oil only.
On the other hand, palm oil plantations should involve local people to be active in palm oil development. As the partners of many companies, the people involved in the first place as smallholders to cultivate their own areas.
The local people would have bigger chances to work at many palm oil plantation companies as employees because the companies need the support from the local to operate. That is why the opportunity of working can be widely opening for the villagers where they are in distance from the urbans.
Assistant Deputy of Plantation Agribusiness Development Coordinator Ministry in Economy, Moch. Edy Yusuf said, to realize sustainable palm oil governance, the government would keep encouraging the policy Rencana Aksi Nasional Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan (RAN-KSB), which is the mandate of regulation of President’s Instruction Number 6 / 2019 about Rencana Aksi Nasional Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan in 2019 - 2024.
Eddy also thought, RAN-KSB would help the government to formulate, arrange the better palm oil governance. The implementation of the regulation could be by having trainings to planters namely smallholders to realize sustainable cultivation.
“We would also evaluate, monitor, involve many stakeholders both smallholders, planters, and 20 provinces where palm oil plantations grow to realize the regulation,” he said in Focus Group Discussion (FGD) SAWIT BERKELANJUTAN VOL 12, with the theme “Mendorong Keterlibatan Masyarakat Perdesaan Hasilkan Minyak Sawit Berkelanjutan”, that media InfoSAWIT did with the support of Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA), Tuesday (31/1/2023) in Jakarta.
He continued, the regional government would be always encouraged to cultivate palm oil plantation sustainable and would help to realize sustainable environment for the next generations. “Sustainability is for our grandchildren. Sustainable practices should always exist,” Eddy said.
That is why his side would revise some in Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) regulation. There would be downstream sectors to be arranged and would be confirmed by the cooperation among the ministries/institutions, including implementing transparent principles. “The government realizes that palm oil should not have the same destiny with spices,” he said.
Head of Company/Corporate Division PFMA, Achmad Maulizal thought, the institution supports sustainable cultivation realization. That is why PFMA did distribute fund for other sectors, such as, in smallholders replanting program to escalate the smallholders’ plantation productivity.
Maulizal continued, the smallholders’ plantation productivity just reached 2 to 3 tons of crude palm oil (CPO)/hectare/year. Meanwhile big private plantation companies could produce 5 to 6 tons of CPO/hectare/year. There have been gaps, of course but by having SRP within superior seeds, the smallholders’ plantations would be in higher production. “In addition, the people’s palm oil plantations laid about 41% of the total in Indonesia,” he said.
He also mentioned, SRP would be significant to solve productivity and escalate their economy. “PFMA offers fund to develop SRP by advantaging palm oil export citation,” he said.
In the principles, Maulizal told the smallholders are encouraged to join the program and should notice the legal aspects. For those who do not have the legal, they would get development help to immediately get legal rights on their areas and should join sustainable principles that cover area, conservation, environment, and institution.
It needs to confirm sustainable principles, participants of the program should get ISPO certificate in the first harvest. “The productivity standards in SRP should be 10 tons of FFB per hectare per year within plantation density < 80 trees/hectare,” Mauli said.
In fact the smallholders are important to develop palm oil plantation. Field Chairman of Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA) Tofan Mahdi said, for having 41% of palm oil plantations in Indonesia, the roles smallholders should not be put aside.
He thought, though there are challenges to face, such as, regulations for not every smallholder could realize the regulation, it needs to improve their cultivation sustainably.
Tofan also said, the other challenge is about sustainable practices. The smallholders need to be encouraged to implement environmental cultivation. In Indonesia sustainable cultivation is categorized in ISPO implementation.
As the regulation, ISPO is right to develop smallholders’ environmental plantation. The policy is mandatory. “We are waiting what we are heading to. It needs to improve the smallholders’ institutions and make better sustainable governance. The future industries would be in the hands of smallholders,” Tofan said.
General Secretary of Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS), Mansuetus Darto thought, sustainable palm oil practice is something serious for many parties. The independent smallholders have ISPO and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificates.
The most important thing is that every stakeholder should be serious. For instance, when some groups got ISPO certificate, their production should be well accepted and purchased by mills. “But some mills did not differentiate FFB price within ISPO and non-ISPO certificate. The mills might not believe ISPO and even some smallholders that got ISPO certificate should sell their plantation production to middlemen,” he said.
About FGD Sawit Berkelanjutan:
FGD Sawit Berkelanjutan is an interactive discussion by many stakeholders in national scale that presented speakers from many sectors to deliver whole description about palm oil. The goal is about to deliver the right understanding about palm oil existence, contribution for the country, the social, and environment.
Diskusi Sawit Bagi Negeri got fund support from Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA) within its strategic partners, Media InfoSAWIT and Palm Oil Magazine. The discussion that took many palm oil stakeholders, such as, the government, businessmen, organizations, social and environmental activists, and others was about to develop palm oil plantations to be better.
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