The Secretary-General of the Indonesian Association of Coconut Processing Industry (HIPKI) Donatus Gede Sabon is warning of the dangers and vulnerability of an economy that is heavily relying on a single commodity, in this case, palm oil.
While the Indonesian government says the country’s oil palm plantations cover some 14 million hectares, a study conducted by palm oil industry watchdog Sawit Watch puts the figure much higher, at more than million hectares.
Eye on the Forest said that it found Indonesia’s top four palm oil producers, better known as the “Big 4” – GAR, Musim Mas, RGE, and Wilmar – had purchased, often repeatedly, from mills that have been flagged as having often dealt in illegal palm oil
“farmers should be able to pocket RP 1,300-Rp 1,500 per kilogram of fresh fruit bunch but what is happening on the field is that prices could reach Rp 600 per kilogram,” APKASINDO Deputy Secretary-General Rino Afrino told The Palm Scribe.
GAPKI said that amid the uncertainty in the market, and the heightening trade war tension between China and the United States, the government should accord special attention to the palm oil industry so that palm oil prices do no continue to deteriorate.
Careful selection of oil palm seedling, including by checking on their source, is important if the crops is to produce a good yield and quality, a seed breeder said.
“I think that so much of this industry is already in place and there is no turning back, really. The question is how much more, how further will it go,” Fries said.
The Indonesian Palm Oil Board (DMSI), Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) India, and Solidaridad Network Asia Limited (SNAL) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement that reaffirmed cooperation between them on a sustainable development of the vegetable oil sector, including palm oil and is derivatives.
The Papua Commission on Information (KIP) has ruled that the Papua office of the Land Agency (BPN) should open up information on palm oil concessions in Papua to the public, Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) Director Simon Pattiradjawane said
“Building up an agreement with farmers is the most difficult part because usually, they will first ask about the benefits. One of the benefits that they usually ask is whether the prices of their fresh fruit bunches would change if they get certified,” said Setara Jambi Foundation Director Rukaiyah Rafiq.