Arie Malangyudo: Palm Oil Plantation Development Needs Conservatism

Arie Malangyudo: Palm Oil Plantation Development Needs Conservatism

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Arie Malangyudo's long journey in the world of the national oil palm plantation business ended when he was trusted to lead PT Target Ehsan Mekarsari (SEM), an oil palm seed company headquartered in Mekarsari Tourism Park, Cileungsi, Bogor, West Java, around 2006.

He spent a long career at PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk, since 1979, before deciding to leave in the early 2000s to join PT Wahana Esa Sejati. Arie decided to leave Wahana Esa Sejati in February 2005.

For more than 20 years, Astra Agro has become an important learning platform and various experiments on oil palm cultivation techniques. Arie was instrumental in designing and creating new breakthroughs in the development of oil palm cultivation.

The system, which is claimed to be one of the best in the ranks of national oil palm plantation companies, has been well established and implemented consistently by Astra Agro until now.

The system is oriented towards high quality results, through the use of superior seeds, plantation arrangement, good fertilization and maintenance techniques, and post-harvest handling. As a result, the productivity of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) is very high, namely 24 tons/ha/year with 26% oil content.

In addition, it is also important for the company to build good relations with the surrounding community. Astra Agro is a pioneer in the implementation of community socio-economic programs through the concept of community development which was introduced in 1996.

In a quality-oriented system, which is to create plantations with the best quality, and land intensification in order to pursue high productivity. Companies also focus less on expansion and more on specializing certain aspects with a more prudent approach. Furthermore, quality-oriented systems are less likely to diversify its business and expand to derivative products.

"Astra Agro adheres to the principle of conservative palm oil plantations, and it is proven that this company is the 'best' oil palm grower in Indonesia," said Arie. Arie at that time also wanted to make Astra Agro a national palm oil company capable of producing qualified human resources in their fields. It's like being the “citibank” of palm oil companies, according to Arie.

Therefore, one manager must recruit two candidate managers. "The principle of plantation workers is control, detail, and routine," he said. Arie, who graduated from Padjadjaran University in Bandung in 1977, saw that the future challenges of the national palm oil industry were even tougher to come from within the country.

For example, this industry is very full of regulations, there is a lot of overlap, so that it threatens the certainty of doing business in the future. “This is the challenge of managing an oil palm plantation business in Indonesia. After all, the palm oil business is still attractive and in great demand, because this is the future industry of the world,” he said. (T2)


This article was published in InfoSAWIT, January 2013