Jakarta, wapresri.go.id – After the government lifted the export ban on all palm oil and cooking oil products, it had a positive impact on the farmers. Before the revocation, the policy had an impact on the low price of palm Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB), which in turn caused a decline in oil palm farmers’ welfare. Seeing this situation, the government continues to take steps to improve oil palm farmers’ welfare in the midst of existing limitations.

“The government certainly does not ignore this condition. Something has to be taken, a step, to resolve on this side but there’s also an impact on the other side. So, indeed, these are things that we must look at policy, which then we must also take corrective steps,” said Vice President (VP) K.H. Ma’ruf Amin while receiving an audience from the Central Executive Board of the Indonesian Palm Oil Farmers Association (DPP APKASINDO) at the Vice President’s official residence, Jalan Diponegoro Number 2, Jakarta, Thursday (28/07/2022).

Furthermore, the VP said that several concrete efforts have been taken by the government in increasing the price of FFB and lowering the cooking oil price, one of them is the policies issued by the Minister of Finance.

“The government continues to make its best efforts to increase the price of FFB as well as to reduce the price of cooking oil, because it is in the interest of the people. As previously said, the policy is taken by the Minister of Finance to temporarily remove the CPO export levy and its derivative products. This [policy is taken] after listening to the demands of the farmers,” said the VP.

“Stipulate a new DMO (Domestic Market Obligation) policy. Companies are required to distribute cooking oil, only to get the calculation of export rights and accelerate export distribution for CPO commodities and their derivatives,” he added.

While on the downstream side, the VP explained, discussions were held at a Meeting chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia on July 17, 2022 about the plan of establishing a mini CPO factory under a cooperative scheme. Thus, in the future, it is hoped that the price of FFB will increase and farmers will not only depend on large factories.

“We have discussed the downstream of palm oil with one of the articles on the proposal is to establish a mini CPO factory and a cooperative-based palm oil factory. The hope is that it will be a solution for farmers to increase the price and sales volume of FFB, this is still under consideration,” explained the VP.

“Indeed, several times the President has asked for mini factories so that they don’t depend entirely on big factories,” he added.

Therefore, apart from the government and related institutions, the Vice President also urged APKASINDO to continue to oversee the implementation of policies in the field and contribute to the improvement of human resources quality for oil palm farmers. So later, these two things (policy and human resources) can underpin each other.

“We expect APKASINDO to continue to support the quality of human resources for oil palm farmers through coaching, training, consulting, business management, mastery of technology to improve production systems, and quality control, and so on. So these human resources must continue to be improved. Oil palm farmers [also] should cooperate or partner with companies to get guidance and funding so that in the end it will increase the productivity of their plantations and their incomes,” the VP urged.

“I hope these smallholder oil palm farmers will be able to grow well”, he concluded.

Previously the General Chair DPP APKASINDO, M.E. Manurung, reported that the policy lifting of export levies issued by the government had a positive impact and was felt directly by farmers.

“This is the information we have to convey to meet the Vice President. Because after the lifting of the export ban or after the lifting of the export levy as of July 15, the price of palm FFB was [originally] only around 800 (Rupiah), sir. Now, Alhamdulillah, I checked from 22 provinces that it has reached 1,700 (Rupiah), Alhamdulillah sir, it’s extraordinary, that’s what we call 100 percent,” reported Gulat.

Beside the General Chair of DPP APKASINDO Gulat M.E. Manurung, also present at this meeting APKASINDO DPP Secretary General Rino Afrino, APKASINDO DPP Communications Chairperson Qayyum Amri, and APKASINDO Regional Leadership Council (DPW) Chairs including North Sumatra, Riau, Banten, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, and Papua.

While the Vice President was accompanied by the Head of the Secretariat of the Vice President Ahmad Erani Yustika, Special Staff of the Vice President Masduki Baidlowi and M. Imam Aziz, the Expert Team of the Vice President Farhat Brachma, and Acting Deputy for Economic Policy Support and Competitiveness Improvement of the Vice President’s Secretariat M. Zulkarnain. (NN/LHS, BPMI – Setwapres)