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Food among Palm Oil Intercrops

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Food among Palm Oil Intercrops

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - Indonesia within kinds of natural resource, should actually get and realize its independent and sovereign food security. The government has published many regulations to maintain food security, including food backup – cultivation, price stability, quality, nutrition supervision, food security, and poverty alleviation program in vulnerable food – regions.

But many challenges are ahead to realize food security, such as, from the demands, food needs especially rice that keeps increasing as the population of Indonesia more than 270 million (the 2020 census). The government should fulfill food needs for poor people that reached 9,57% (Central Bureau of Statistic, 2022) and solve stunting issues for infant that reached about 21,6%.

Besides, the climate change multiply the complexity to food supply procurement. The changing season from rainy to dry one, has something to do with planting system; the higher temperature and unpredictable rain, make this situation worse. Philippine paddy researcher reported that the escalating temperature 1° Celsius, could minimize paddy harvest up to 10 percent.

The climate change that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defined as pattern change and climate element intensity in some certain period compared to the normal condition or historical average (more than 30 years), might be triggered by human activities that made green – house gas (GHG) emission. This caused global warming and El Nino phenomenon which is the increasing temperature on the sea surface more than normal condition that causes rain drops.

To face the climate difficulties, the government implements palm oil – paddy gogo intercrop. The target would lay on about 120.000 hectares. Of the numbers, 80 thousand hectares would be by instances (in the regions), and 40 thousand hectares would be by partnership.

General Directorate of Plantation Ministry of Agriculture identified there would be potentially 500 thousand hectares to implement intercrop program within 200 thousand hectares for palm oil, and 300 thousand hectares for coconut. This would be in intercrop with paddy gogo (paddy that grows in dry land).

Planting intercrop in palm oil plantations would be about to reinforce food security, production quality and plantation productivity in Indonesia. It needs synergy among many parties to support and accelerate the program to escalate (food) production, additional values, and palm oil competition. These should be the main focus. Some provinces are the targets to realize the program or where smallholders replanting program is being implemented, such as, South Kalimantan, South Sumatera, and Riau.

What about the process in palm oil – paddy gogo intercrop program?  To know more, dear readers should read in  Rubrik Focus, May 2024.