Misperception about Palm Oil

Doc. InfoSAWIT
Misperception about Palm Oil

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Palm oil plantations could maximally be advantaged both the yield result and other potential, such as, wood. According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2009), agricultural area in Indonesia laid about 53,6 million hectares (ha) or about 30% of the total land. The population in Indonesia reached more than 230 million men.

It means, agricultural area development including palm oil is smaller than the total available areas if compared to Australia where its agricultural areas laid about 409 million ha or equal to 53% of the total land and about 22 million population or Brazil where agricultural areas laid about s 264 million ha or about 31% of the total land and about 193 million men.

If there is assumption saying that Indonesia still does primer forest new planting to palm oil plantation, it may be mistarget because according to Ministry of Forestry, of the total forests in Indonesia that lay about 130,68 million ha, primer forest canopy lays about 41,3 million ha and secondary forest canopy lays about 45,5 million ha.

Meanwhile, plantation forests lay about 2,8 million ha and non-forest canopy lays about 41 million ha. It means, if there are agricultural and plantation new plantings, there are non-forest areas available and they are vast. In addition, rubber, palm oil, coconut still have potential to be maximized, such as, to fulfill wood needs nationally.

Palm oil is one hard wood plantation that has wood. If there is special application, it could be advantaged as wood materials. By conducting replanting program well, wood potential from palm oil trees could fulfill wood needs nationally.

By noticing forest condition nowadays, palm oil trees are good recommendation as plantations to conduct reforestation in open areas where they have no conservation value, bushes, abandoned forest, such as, rubber plantation, and other industrial plantation forests.

The writer did not deny that forest new planting which has conservation value to non-forestry need is avoidable. Based on forest canopy, Malaysia takes hard plantations as forest regions. This is the same with forest definition and some international non-government organizations, such as, Deforestation Watch, saying that “Thus it could be termed that planting oil palm is establishing a planted forest in a different form”. (Author: Teguh Patriawan / Vice Chairperson of Plantation Development Standing Committee, Indonesian Chambers)