Jakarta — Good news for palm oil farmers. Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Darmin Nasution, is announcing that the replanting program for palm oil plantations is ready to start this month. This program will start once the affected land have been verified.
Nasution made the announcement during a national coordinating meeting of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) on Tuesday (3/10/2017). Nasution said that some 4,800 hectares of palm oil plantation in Musi Banyuasin district in South Sumatra have been verified by the central government together with the South Sumatra governor and the local district chief.
“Hopefully, ten days from now, (the replanting program) can be launched,” Nasution said as quoted by Bisnis Indonesia daily.
Nasution added that after Musi Banyuasin in South Sumatra, the program will move to North Sumatra, Riau and Jambi.
This replanting plan had previously been questioned by a number of farmers. In April 2017, farmers from a palm oil plasma scheme in West Bangka district in Bangka Belitung province, demanded clarity regarding the replanting assistance that came from the collection of crude palm oil (CPO) export levies.
The head of the Bina Tani Sejahtera village unit cooperative in Tempilang village, Leman Ani said that the farmers gathered under the cooperative also wanted to know about the technical implementation of the Regulation of the Agriculture Minister number 18/Permentan/KB.330/5/2016 on the Guideline for the Replanting of Palm Oil Plantations.
“We also want to directly hear about the regulations of the Palm OIl Plantation Fund Management Board (BPDP Kelapa Sawit), especially regarding the requirements and the documents required to obtain that assistance,” he said while receiving the visit of a delegation from BPDP Sawit on Thursday (27/4/2017), as reported by Bisnis Indonesia daily.
The President Director of the Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Board (BPDPKS) Dono Boestami, said that from the 4,800 hectares, only 2,800 hectares had been verified. “The rest is still in process,” he said. Another 2,000 hectares, he said, were already under a freehold status.
BPDP Sawit is a public service agency that provides replanting funds from the collection of palm oil export levies. Since its establishment of BPDPKS two years ago, no replanting has practically taken place even though the government had at the time already promised to give the fund to farmers to replant their old crops.
The disbursement of the BPDPKS replanting fund requires, among others, that the plantation is close to 25 years old, have productivity of below 10 tons per hectares per year and meet the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standards. ISPO requires that the legality of the land be shown by the ownership of a land title certificate.
The public service agency is planning to replant 22,000 hectares of palm oil plantation this year and has allocated Rp 550 billion in funding from the CPO export levy. The calculation is that every hectare of plantation will receive Rp 25 million.
Based on the agriculture ministry, palm oil plantations that need to be replanted reached 1.5 million hectares in surface.