BOGOR – The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) has partnered with Bogor Agricultural (IPB) University to establish a palm oil study center, which is aimed to find solutions for all challenges facing Indonesian palm oil industry, mainly in the fields of environment, health, human rights, global trade and other strategic issues.
Formally named PUSDI Sawit IPB, the Palm Oil Study Center was formally inaugurated in Bogor on Friday, 09 September 2022, which was also marked with the launching of a book titled “Sawit Untuk Negeri” (Palm Oil For The Nation) authored by Prof. Dr. AB Susanto, a professor of strategic management at UPN Veteran Jakarta, and Dr. Petrus Gunarso, an environmental critic. They are not palm oil players but very concerned with the palm oil industry.
Present during the inauguration ceremony, which was also marked with the book discussions, were Prof. Bungaran Saragih who is agriculture economy expert and former agriculture minister; IPB Uviversity Rector Prof. Dr. Arif Satria, SP, Msi; GAPKI Chairman Ir Joko Supriyono, Prof. Dr. Meine van Noordwijk who is Emeritus Professor of Wageningen University, the Netherlands; and the Palm Oil Agribusiness Strategic Policy Institute’s (PASPI) Executive Director Dr Tungkot Sipayung.
PUSDI Sawit IPB is expected to coordinate all studies and researches to find solutions for all challenges facing the palm oil industry nationally and globally, and disseminate them to the general public and the government.
PASPI Executive Director Dr. Tungkot Sipayung said during the occasion that as the palm oil has significantly contributed to national economy of Indonesia, it should be developed based on the principles of sustainable development. “Pusdi should function to give solutions for the palm oil industry’s challenges in the fields of environment, health, human rights, international trade and other strategic fields that are necessary to keep the sustainability of the palm oil industry,” he said.
Palm oil care
Prof AB Susanto and Dr. Petrus Gunarso are not experts in palm oil. But both are very concerned with the palm oil industry, which has been always attacked by certain groups with negative campaigns, despite the fact that it has a very strategic role in Indonesian economy and the negative campaigns have no scientific evidences.
“The palm oil industry has been long playing a very important role in the Indonesian economy. It employs about 17 million people and becomes the largest earner of foreign exchange with last year amounting to about Rp500 trillion,” said Petrus Gunarso.
With the book of “Sawit untuk Negeri”, the two authors aim to reveal the positive sides of the Indonesian palm oil industry, which are feared to be ignored by the general public due to the smearing campaigns of certain groups whose goal is merely to vilify the palm oil industry in order to get economic benefits. (*)