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Selecting Intercrops in Palm Oil Plantations to Escalate Income

Doc. InfoSAWIT/Ilustartion of palm oil plantation
Selecting Intercrops in Palm Oil Plantations to Escalate Income

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - It is clear that people’s enthusiasm to plant palm oil is reasonable. Palm oil could give much profit and this is why they cultivate it. They also know that palm oil is easy to cultivate – being not cured, palm oil will grow itself. That rumor made the smallholders dare to cultivate palm oil though having less experiences.

It is normal if referring to the Ministry of Agriculture in 2023, the people’s palm oil plantation ownership has been 5 million hectares or about 42% of the total plantations nationally which could be laying on about 16, 3 million hectares.

The high people’s enthusiasm to cultivate palm oil actually has deepest potential, especially to cultivate intercrops. The smallholders should be encouraged to cultivate intercrops in the future besides relating to agronomy point of view.

Referring to the research of Edi Werdiana and Zainal Mahmud in 2003, not all plants can be planted intercrops theoretically.

It needs deep understanding about the character of the main plantation and intercrops so that the aspects relating to the synergism concepts could be increased while the harmful aspects could also be reduced as minimal as possible.

To continue smallholders’ business, it needs to choose and combine kinds plantations which function to complete the area so they can interact but not compete each other which may be harmful.

To choose the right intercrops will maximally grow, they will control the growth of destructive plantation organisms, keep the useful organisms, and can cure the conservation of natural resources so they can increase the result of the plantations in the end.  

On the other hand, the mixed agricultural system can produce various products sustainably, they can be alternative to solve the problems relating to the price fluctuation of the commodity and can give more chances for the smallholders to sustainably get profits.

The research noted, intercrops in palm oil plantation can be mixed or same kinds of plantation. Mixed intercrops could be seasonal plantations, seasonal and yearly plantations, yearly plantations, food plantations and plantation, horticulture and plantations.  

Of course, before planting, it needs to know all factors which influence the intercrops in palm oil, such as, the first, the environment where the palm oil grows; it covers the climate and the land; the second, the characteristic of palm oil which covers kinds, roots, stalk, bud, and the third, the characteristic of the intercrops. (T2)

for more, please read Majalah InfoSAWIT, May 2014