Moratorium Extension Hoped To Further Improve Palm Oil

JAKARTA – The agriculture ministry (Kementan) agrees with the extension of the oil palm moratorium as it will further improve the palm oil industries, especially their productivity and sustainability.

“The continuation of oil palm moratorium will increase the productivity of palm oil through intensification programs,” Kementan Secretary General Kasdi Subagyono said during a virtual discussion on “Oil Palm Moratorium: What’s Next After Three Year Timeframe” on Thursday, 23 September 2021.

Kasdi said that the productivity of oil palm growers in Indonesia is only around 3 – 4 tons of crude palm oil (CPO) per hectare per year. Increasing the productivity can be implemented through the replanting program (PSR) for smallholders’ plantations.

According to him, Kementan has targeted that 540,000  hectares of plantations will be replanted during the next three years. “There is an opportunity to increase productivity through intensification methods during the extended moratorium period. It can compensate the expected increase from the extensification methods if the moratorium is no longer applied,” he said.

Kasdi also noted that during the three years of oil palm moratorium, Indonesia has implemented the certification of palm oil sustainability, which is called the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO). “We hope this ISPO certification can get international recognition,” he added.

Based on the presidential instruction (Inpres) No.8/2018 on oil palm moratorium and evaluation had ended on 19 September 2021. But the government has yet to take a decision on whether to extend its oil palm moratorium policy or not. (*)