Oil Palm Replanting Improving Sustainability

PALEMBANG – The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) South Sumatra (Sumsel) Office said that the implementation of the smallholders’ oil palm replanting program (PSR) will increase the productivity and sustainability of oil palm plantations in South Sumatra province.

Gapki Sumsel Office Head Alex Sugiarto said in Palembang recently that smallholders play an important role in producing crude palm oil (CPO) in the province. “Based on our data, around 40 percent of the 1.3 million hectares total acreage of oil palm plantations in Sumsel is owned by smallholders under the plasma scheme and independent scheme,” he said.

Alex said that currently the smallholders’ productivity in Sumsel is only around 2.5 – 3 tons per ha per year, as compared to its potential at around 6 – 8 tons. The replanting program is expected to increase the productivity much higher. “The replanting will surely increase productivity, sustainability and the public welfare of smallholders,” he said.

He said that Gapki Sumsel is committed to supporting the PSR, which has been implemented in Sumsel with the support of the government since 2017.

According to him, with the increase of the productivity, the province needs to increase its palm oil mills. Currently, there are 77 units of palm oil mills in Sumsel. “With the increase of productivity in the future, the current 77 units will not be enough to process all production of fresh fruit bunches,” he said.

Data from the oil palm plantation fund management board (BPDPKS) shows that the total areas that are undertaking the replanting program reached 94,033 Ha, of which 19 percent are located in Sumsel. The province of Sumsel managed to realize the highest areas of replanting if compared to other 20 palm oil producing provinces, which participate in the replanting program.

BPDPKS President Director Eddy Abdurrahman said that nationally there are 87,906 growers who take part in the replanting program. “The PSR will not only increase the productivity and quality of smallholders’ palm oil. It will also improve their sustainability as under the PSR, smallholders are required to implement the good agriculture practices (GAP) and improve the spatial planning of oil palm plantations. (*)

Source: antaranews.com | Featured image via pertanian.go.id