JAKARTA – The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) has set up a task force to accelerate the implementation of government’s program of replanting smallholders’ oil palm plantations.
The task force, which is locally known as Satgas, is assigned to help preparation, implementation and supervision of the replanting at the smallholders’ oil palm plantations that are partners of member companies of Gapki.
The establishment of the task force is a follow-up step to the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the replanting recently by the economic coordinating ministry, the agriculture ministry’s plantation directorate general, and the oil palm plantation fund management board (BPDP-KS).
The government hopes that signing of the MoU will accelerate the replanting program in order to increase the productivity and sustainability of the smallholders’ plantations. The agreement involves the participation of 18 cooperatives and smallholder groups, and 07 member companies of Gapki. The MoU represents at least 18,214 hectares of oil palm plantations or 10% of the total yearly replanting target.
“The Indonesian palm oil industry has not only played an important role for Indonesian economy, but it also contributes significantly to the global food resilience. At least 33% of the global supply of vegetable oils comes from Indonesia,” the economic coordinating ministry’s Deputy in charge of food and agribusiness coordination, Musdhalifah said in a written statement on Tuesday, 09 March 2021.
Despite positive contribution to the national economic growth, the palm oil sector is still facing many challenges in its development. The challenges include low productivity at 3.6 tons of crude palm oil (CPO) per hectare per year, as compared to its potential at 6-8 tons of CPO per Ha per year.
“The low productivity was caused by many factors, which include the quality problem of oil palm seedlings, lack of knowledge on the good agricultural practices (GAP), weak institutions, and limited access to capital,” said Musdhalifah.