The Palm Scribe

GAPKI Forms Taskforce to Speed Up Oil Palm Replanting for Plasma Smallholders

The Indonesian Palm Oil Producer Association (GAPKI) has formed a taskforce to help accelerate the replanting of smallholders’ oil palm plantations for plasma scheme partners of its member companies.

GAPKI Chairman Joko Supriyono said that a synergy between the various stakeholders was key to successfully achieve the government’s target of replanting 180,000 hectares of smallholder’s plantation in a year.

“This cooperation is believed to be a strategic national program, not only to boost farmers’ productivity but also to improve their welfare of oil palm smallholders in Indonesia, “Supriyono was quoted as saying in a GAPKI written statement.

The establishment of the taskforce followed the recent signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on the 2021 Replanting of People’s Oil Palm Plantations (PSR) between the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, the Directorate General for Plantation and the Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS.) The MoU was part of the government’s process to accelerate its PSR program to develop the potentials of Indonesia’s oil palm smallholders.

The activity of the task force involved 18 farmer’s cooperatives and seven GAPKI member companies. Its program covers smallholder oil palm plantations of 18,214 hectares or about 10 percent of the government’s annual target.

“People’s oil palm plantations need to be strengthened, among other through the people’s oil palm Plantation Replanting (PSR) program, or replanting as part of efforts to boost productivity, strengthen human resources and raise the welfare of farmers. The success of the PSR need the support and cooperation of various sides,” said Musdalifah Mahmud, Deputy II of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, as quoted in the same written statement.

Musdalifah said that the Indonesian palm oil industry not only plays an important role in the Indonesian economy but also supports the world’s food resilience. At least 33 percent of world’s vegetable oil comes from Indonesia, she said.

The oil palm plantation subsector was positively contributing to the Indonesian economic growth but was also still facing a lot of challenges. One is the matter of low productivity, at around 3.6 ton of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) per hectare per year even though the potential could reach between six and eight tons per hectare per year.

“The low productivity of Indonesian oil palm plantations is caused by many factors, including the minimal use of superior seedlings, a lack of knowledge concerning good agricultural practices, weak organizational capabilities and limited access to capital,” Musdalifah said.

Based on a decree of the Minister of Agriculture number 833 of 2019, the nation had 16.38 million hectares of land planted with oil palms, 41 percent of which was in the hands of smallholders. Therefore, Musdalifah was convinced that the role of people’s plantation in the national palm oil industry could no longer be ignored.

Supriyono said that the PSR partnership pattern had been started in 2016 and GAPKI fully supported the government’s program, not only through cooperation but also through continues contribution and the search for the best partnership model. At present GAPKI was developing a partnership pilot model in North Sumatra in the drive to find the most effective model of synergy between companies and smallholders to facilitate smallholders to replant their plantation through a partnership cooperation

GAPKI, with the support of the coordinating ministry for the economy, also was establishing a PSR forum to monitor, evaluate and improve the process on the field to make it more effective. Suypriyono also aired his appreciation to all those sides who were involved in realizing a sustainable palm oil industry through the acceleration of the PSR program.

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