Jakarta – There have been many palm oil critics who propagated that the oil palm trees are water-wasteful plants. They claimed that the oil palm trees consume a lot of water that cause drought.
The baseless propaganda has influenced the public opinion and led many people to attribute the global climate change to the oil palm plantations. But actually, the reality of oil palm trees truly defies such propaganda.
Coster conducted a research in 1983 on the water needs of several plants by using the indicator of evapotranspiration of plants. Based on his research, bamboos and lamtoro (leucaena glauca) plants are categorized as water-wasteful plants with water need of around 3,000 mm per year.
Acacia plants need water at 2,400 mm per year, silk tree (Albizia chinensis) at 2,300 mm per year, the pine trees and rubber trees at around 1,300 mm per year, while the water need of oil palm trees is only at 1,104 mm per year.
Based on the book of PASPI Monitor, “the pine trees, acacia trees, and silk trees have been long used under the programs of reforestation or industrial forests. But the forestry plants are apparently water wasteful.”
Apparently, the oil palm trees that have been accused as water-wasteful plant consume less water compared to the rubber tree.
In addition to that, the researches conducted by Allen et.al (1998) and Rusmayadi (2011) have proven that the water holding capacity of oil palm trees is better than that of the rubber trees, so that the water content of oil palm plantation areas is higher than that of the rubber plantation areas.
“The results of the researches have strongly confirmed that the oil palm trees are environmentally-friendly and cause no damage to the environment. Developing oil palm plantations is part of efforts to conserve land and water,” the book of PASPI Monitor concluded. (*)
Source: wartaekonomi.co.id | Image via iopri