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Hand Pollination: The Solution to Escalate Palm Oil Production

Foto by Bernardus Ritchard/sawit fest 2021
Hand Pollination: The Solution to Escalate Palm Oil Production

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Palm oil plantations in Indonesia laid on about 16,38 million hectares in 2023. The numbers were the same with the data at Ministry of Agriculture. This is the same with the increasing demands globally on vegetable oils and the derivative products. But to fulfill the needs, palm oil stakeholders need to keep increasing annual production.

Fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production would have something to do with many factors, such as, land condition, nutrition, climate, environment, pests, diseases, and pollination. Palm oil tree pollination would be the main key to get higher production.

As InfoSAWIT quoted from the official page of Sulung Research, palm oil tree has male and female flowers which are separated by fresh fruit bunch. The pollination is mostly crossing one to the other. The pollen from male flower falls down to the pistil head of female flower. But the challenges come up because the blossom time for male and female flowers would not always be the same. Female flower gets shorter blossom period.

Many researches revealed that natural pollinator, such as, Elaeidobius kamerunicus (insect) does contribute to the pollination process but the weather, availability of male flower would also influence the effectiveness of natural pollination.

To escalate pollination, hand pollination would be the solution to apply. The process would involve man’s intervention in palm oil flower pollination. These would cover the monitoring to know if male flower is available, pollen harvest, mixing pollen with carrier media, and the application to female flower.

The research showed the significant increasing act at fruit set after applying hand pollination. The fruit set per bunch increased 40,6% in average, showed that hand pollination could be the effective solution to escalate palm oil production in the plantations were the male flower availability is limited.

By adopting the hand pollination, the stakeholders would optimize the increasing production and contribute to fulfill the demands globally on vegetable oil (palm oil) and its derivative products. (T2)