Please Help! Smallholders Could Not Afford Expensive Fertilizers

foto: Aceng Sofian?Sawitfest2021
Please Help! Smallholders Could Not Afford Expensive Fertilizers

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Smallholders complain to expensive non-subsidized fertilizers in the markets for one last year. The very expensive fertilizers make them confused to manage production costs in their plantation because fertilizer costs cover 60% of production costs in total.

Chairman of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (Apkasindo), Gulat ME Manurung said, the smallholders in many regions questioned why fertilizers are so expensive. It seems, there is no solution from related ministry for it in the last 12 months. “The fertilizers produced by Enterprises and private sectors are just the same price,” Manurung said to InfoSAWIT.

In North Sumatera Utara, West Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, Riau, NPK in the distributor level is Rp 12.500/kg or about Rp 625 thousand per sack. It was only about Rp 280 thousand per sack (50kg). “They are available but we cannot afford it. Useless,” Manurung said.

He also mentioned, according to Apkasindo branches from 22 provinces, fertilizers both NPK and single get more expensive in many regions. Herbicide and others do too. If they are not controlled, production costs will be out of control too. This will lead the smallholders go to bankrupt.

He predicted, this will be more difficult for smallholders in 2022 and will be the peak of smallholders’ bankruptcy. In 2021, smallholders did not fertilize theirs. One thing for sure, their production in the next year will be decreasing. “The plantations need fertilizers as ‘fuel’. We can get solution to herbicide by manual cutting. But we could not substitute fertilizers by others,” Manurung said. (T2)