A village level cooperative gathering almost 250 smallholders in Riau province on Monday (10/12) became the latest group of palm oil farmers to get certified under the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) scheme.
The certificates were directly handed over by the Agriculture Ministry’s Director General for Plantations, Bambang MM, to the head of the Bukit Potalo Village Unit Cooperative (KUD) , Atan, in a ceremony that coincided with National Plantation Day, marked at the Gedung State government building in Bandung, West Java, a press release issued by palm oil company Asian Agri said.
The cooperative groups 247 palm oil farmers managing 494 hectares of oil palm plantation in the Ukui subdistrict of Pelalawan district in Riau.
“Representing my former colleagues, members of the Bukit Potalo KUD, I hope that our success in obtaining this ISP certification can show that farmers are capable of managing oil palm plantations in a sustainable way. We also hope that our success can also inspire as well as motivate other fellow oil palm farmers to seek certification,” Atan said.
The Bukit Potalo KUD was declared as having been able to meet a number of requirements and demands such as the legality of their cooperative and land, the application of best management practices, and contribution to the conservation of the environment as well as of the social aspect. This achievement was the result of a partnership and guidance from various stakeholders in the industry,
The certification of the cooperative was part of the implementation of the government Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative (SPOI), conducted by the Agriculture Ministry in cooperation with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), Asian Agri as the partner company and the Tanoto Foundation.
“Farmers manage about 40 percent of oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Their roles are important for the sustainability of the national palm oil management and today, farmers once again proved that they are capable of managing oil palm plantation in a sustainable manner,” Bernard A Riedo, Asian Agri Director for Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, said.
At the same occasion, Asian Agri also obtained two ISPO certification for two of its business units in Riau — PT Hari Sawit Jaya and PT Andalas Intiagro Lesgtari, The certification has now brought the 93 percent of the company’s plantation and mills under ISPO certification.
The Indonesian government, through the agriculture ministry, has set itself the target of reaching a 100 percent ISPO certification of oil palm plantations and mills in Indonesia by 2020.