To answer the complex challenges faced by the company in its effort to develop sustainable palm oil plantations in West Papua, PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk (ANJ) has been consulting local communities, one of the company’s top officials said in Sorong on Tuesday (22/5).
During the Stakeholder Meeting with community leaders and West Papua Provincial Government representatives, ANJ Palm Oil CEO Geetha Govindan K. Gopalakrishnan said that the meeting greatly assist the ongoing production plan and sustainable plantation development in the region.
“This meeting strengthens the bond and sense of mutual understanding of the company with the community. Here we can clarify misunderstandings and fight the misinformation,” he told The Palm Scribe.
Govindan explained that in the West Papuan operation, ANJ faces challenges that are far different from other regional, therefore consulting local communities is very important.
“The challenges in Papua are different from other places. Here we face very complex social problems. There are many unclear territorial boundaries between family members and tribes, so we have to fulfill many requirements to expand palm oil commodity, ” he said, stressing that ANJ remains committed to adopting a persuasive approach and sustainable business development in West Papua.
ANJ’s intention to develop palm oil in West Papua is welcomed by Maybrat Regional Secretary Agustinus Saa.
“The palm oil commodity is very important for our people and the presence of ANJ is benefiting the local government as the company recruits large manpower here,” he told The Palm Scribe, hoping that cooperation between the community and the transparency-based company can be strengthened moving forward.
Agustinus also believes the West Papuan community is ready to commit to assisting ANJ in developing the palm oil commodity. “Yes, the community should help in providing the land acquisition agreement, security, and conflict resolution between families so as not to disturb the company operation,” he said.
Another support comes from Second Secretary of Maybrat District representative, Yonas Howay toward ANJ’s intention to develop palm oil in West Papua.
“From the beginning, we have committed ourselves to facilitate and provide various means to achieve integrated development and realize a prosperous, healthy, intelligent and fair South Sorong society,” he told The Palm Scribe.
Yonas also appreciated ANJ for having assembled all the figures and stakeholders for the development of palm oil commodity in West Papua.
“Through this forum organized by ANJ, many positive messages have been generated and as the Government representative, we are certainly committed to implementing the results of this meeting before the end of 2018,” he smiled.
ANJ has expanded to 1,350 hectares of plantations in Papua, bringing its total plantation area of 6,511 hectares. They are managed by ANJ’s subsidiaries, PT Putra Manunggal Perkasa (PMP) and PT Permata Putra Mandiri (PPM), which offers various programs to help the surrounding community, such as school construction, access to clean water and health, and village empowerment programs.