Jambi – Palm oil producer Asian Agri shares its experience in sustainable palm oil with academics from several state-owned Agriculture Faculties, has shown the importance of partnership with farmers in the journey towards sustainability.
In a press release sent to The Palm Scribe, Asian Agri said that around 50 academics visited one of its plantations, in Tungkal Ulu sub-district in Jambi province to take a closer look at the management of the plantation, its integrated pest management and the use of palm oil liquid waste for generating electricity.
The participants, consisting of deans, lecturers, and students from Jambi University, Lampung University, and the Tanjung Pura University also listened to partner farmers of Asian Agri, who told the story of their journey towards sustainability.
“There are many obstacles in the management of oil palm plantation. Although it’s very promising for improving the community’s economy, they must have a good understanding of how to plant oil palm well,” said Ahmad Riduan, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Jambi.
The academic also said that partnership between the company and its partner farmers were important in imparting knowledge and know-how about good cultivation practices.
“If the company has a clear Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), for example on how to fertilize and harvest, farmers should also follow the process. Partnerships will provide an opportunity for farmers to know the theory and practice in the field,” said Riduan.
The participants also witnessed the conversion of process residues or production waste into organic fertilizers as well as to produce renewable energy in this case, electricity.
While reviewing the Biogas Power Plant in Tungkal Ulu, Iwan Sasli, a lecturer at the Tanjung Pura University in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, said that the partnership between company and academics will help drive innovation and transformation in the CPO processing process – and push it to become environmentally friendly and sustainable, by efficiently utilizing natural resources.
The Biogas Power Plant is an environmentally-friendly innovation that can be also applied by other palm oil companies.