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Palm Oil Plantation Challenge is Still about Productivity Escalation

Private doc. for InfoSAWIT/ Vice Head of Pusat Penelitian Kelapa Sawit (PPKS), Riza Arief Putranto.
Palm Oil Plantation Challenge is Still about Productivity Escalation

InfoSAWIT, BANDUNG – Escalating plantation productivity is still old issue that is unfinished still. That is why it needs efforts to get it done. One that might be solving the issue is by having research (activities).

There is YIELD GAP between actual yield and attainable yield in big plantations and smallholders’ plantations that reaches more than 30%. The main issue could be from the planting of fake seeds and less standard plantation cultivation. “That is why the big challenge is how to close the gap namely in smallholders’ plantations,” Vice Head of Pusat Penelitian Kelapa Sawit, Riza Arief Putranto said.

For information, the challenges in smallholders’ plantations are still about the long market chain, low productivity, lower income, and limited knowledge about good agricultural practices and cultivation.

On the other hand, the smallholders got lower income happened for the lack of economic scale ownership. They have to get side income that made them less focus on palm oil cultivation, lack of capital to escalate agricultural infrastructures. This is also an issue for them besides, area ownership conflicts in some regions, and their difficulty to get certificate (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).

It is acknowledged or not, research could be the chance and answer palm oil industrial challenges. Unfortunately, palm oil research still faces challenges, such as, access issue to networking and achievements of technology preparedness level which does not qualify the expectation in industrial world.

The other challenges are the quality, advantages, and originality of research ideas. These may not maximal yet. Downstream development is in intermediate level. Not many researchers understand what the markets need of and the research results do not answer the market challenges yet.

There are gaps between research development and research by the companies. The weakness in research and development in smallholders’ plantations and research and development that are oriented to users by smallholders’ groups.

“That is why it needs to reinforce research to answer the challenges and be adjustable with what stakeholders need of,” he said in Focus Group Discussion Sharing Session “Kebijakan Industri Kelapa Sawit Nasional” in the early of March 2024 in Bandung that InfoSAWIT attended. (T2)

for more, please read InfoSAWIT, March 2024