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Measure the Impacts of Drought to Palm Oil Production

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Measure the Impacts of Drought to Palm Oil Production

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - From the forecast experts in Geophysics, Climatology, Meteorology Agency (GCMA), the general conclusion is that this year there would be long period – dry season in Indonesia. It might happen about 3 – 7 months but the extreme one could be happening about 7 – 9 months. The peak dry season could be in August while the rain would fall down by the late of November or the early days of December 2023. The rain still falls down in some regions precisely in equatorial regions. Out of the equatorial regions, there would be longer dry season.

Evapo-transpiration in dry season could be calculated 5 mm/day or about 150 mm (millimeter) of rain/month. It means if dry season happens for four months in average, the water deficit could be 4 x 150 mm = 600 mm. But it needs to be reduced by water supply in the ground, for instance, 200 mm, the water deficit would be 400 mm.

Water deficit calculation in each location would be more accurate if rain data and days when rain fell down for at least 10 years are available. (water deficit calculation could be read in Buku Kelapa Sawit, Teknis Agronomis dan Manajemen, Tinjauan Praktis dan Teoritis on page 152). Water Deficit up to 400 mm could minimize (palm oil plantation) productivity up to 60%; the production would pile up to in 2 - 3 months only. But in general, by the late of this year, water deficit would be light up to 50 mm. Plantation productivity reduction symptom is not seen yet. For the complete, it can be seen in this table:

From the data published by GCMA, it is predicted, palm oil production in national scale would decrease up to 60%, which is, 40% in 2023 and 20% in 2024. Malaysia, and Thailand could be the same which means, palm oil production in the world would decrease 30 - 40% in 2023 and 20 - 30 % in 2024.

Palm oil production (crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (PKO)) in 2022 reached 54 million tons and would decrease to be 38 million tons in 2023 and to be 43 million tons in 2024. It means, there would be lack of production about 16 million tons and 11 million tons in 2024. CPO export ban significantly delivered impacts for smallholders. Their fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production could not be purchased by the mills (companies) that stopped operating. Their FFB got cheaper though the government revoked it one month later.

 (Memet Hakim/ Senior Agronomist, Extra-ordinary Lecturer of Universitas Padjajaran, ETCAS, Oil Palm Bussiness Recovery & Rescue)

For more, please read Majalah InfoSAWIT, October 2023