The Palm Scribe

Farmer plantations in crisis amid land status mess

The Jakarta Post, 13 October 2018

Economic Affairs Coordinating Ministry Food and Agriculture Coordination Deputy Musdhalifah Machmud said the Agriculture Ministry has set a target of replanting 185,000 hectares of smallholders’ oil palm plantations this year. Yet, she said, only 13,000 hectares of plantations have been replanted as of October, or 5% of the total target. The government, through the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP-KS) has offered grants for smallholders to replant the areas under the People’s Oil Palm Replanting (PSR) program, where each farmer can access Rp25 million ($1,645) in grants, channeled through banks, to replant oil palms on what is considered people’s plantations.

Musdhalifah claimed the government has focused all efforts on supporting farmers, such as by releasing 152,000 hectares of protected forests and helping farmers to get a clear status on the legality of their land. However, Indonesian Oil Palm Farmers Association Kuantan Singingi Chapter Secretary Imrialis said many oil palm farmers are not highly educated and finding it difficult when facing numerous requirements, especially regarding land verification.

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