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Kamsen Saragih: Satisfaction when Developing Palm Oil Plantations

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Kamsen Saragih: Satisfaction when Developing Palm Oil Plantations

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – When starting career in palm oil sector, Kamsen Saragih had un-describable satisfaction. At the time, he got his duty to develop the remore areas where there were not many plantations developed there.

In his soul, Kamsen Saragih has the spirit to be smallholder. He got it from his father who worked in a plantation. It was a regular and common thing to deal with sightseeing of plantation in his daily life.

His father once took him to join in the plantation activity. Kamsen realized, working in the plantation needs good physic and mentality. Without the both, someone would be hard to work in.

Though he knew much about working in plantation, since he was teenager, he did not directly work in the sector. Kamsen himself wanted to study social politic.

Unfortunately, he did not get his idea. After graduating from Vocational School, he went to Sekolah Tinggi Pertanian (Stiper) that becomes Instiper Yogyakarta.

After graduating from the school, Saragih implemented what he got and finally he worked in palm oil plantation. The first placement was in Kalimantan. “There were not many palm oil plantations there. I enjoyed there. The nature and the people supported it,” he recently said to InfoSAWIT in Jakarta.

Working in palm oil plantation is a pride for Saragih for there are much planting than damaging. “I prefer working in the plantation and I am proud of developing palm oil areas. I have my own satisfaction,” he told.

It is more than 32 years that he works in palm oil plantation sector. Many companies hired him to work. He was in many positions until he joins Bumitama Gunajaya Agro (BGA) Group

He always remembers many stories when working in the plantation sector. He also once dealed with the society for the misunderstanding or helped the workers who got troubles.

Kamsen admitted, the biggest challenge in the palm oil plantation is the social issue. In addition, there are many overlapping regulations and the regulations themselves are not firm enough.

Every activity has its own challenge, for instance, the challenge to enlarge is different from the challenge when the trees start producing. It is also different when nursing and the conversion or giving the areas to the people (society). “The claim when enlarging and nursing was different story, and also when the production, and the relation with the smallholders, and others,” he said.

To face every problem in every activity, Saragih said, it was not tough in the school but it is solved from the daily experience. To solve the problem, he needs friend. “There is no theory and I need friends to solve the social issue,” he told.

Saragih also mentioned, enlarging palm oil plantation should not be as the project given by the company, but should have wider mission because it relates to the society. In addition, the society is the closest partner with the area. The better plantation in a region would be positive for the society.

There has been regulation about main plasma within the goal is to equalize. Every plantation to develop in one region should have 20:80. The company has the obligation to develop 20% of the main areas to the plasma smallholders. “Is it permanent policy (20:80) or more dynamic, it depends on the agreement,” he who loves sports and travelling, said.

The regulation gives the chance to improve the villagers’ economy, and open employment. This is good news for the villagers of course. Not only that, Kamsen said, the infrastructures in the village could be directly realized. (T2)

for more, please read Majalah InfoSAWIT, August 2017