Oil palm plantations have no role in reducing unemployment in rural areas.

Perkebunan kelapa sawit tidak berperan dalam menurunkan pengangguran di pedesaan.

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The development of oil palm plantations, either by private companies, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and SMEs (farmers, suppliers), creates new employment opportunities in rural areas. Based on data from the Agriculture Ministry (2015), the number of employees working in oil palm plantation companies increased from 717,916 people (2000) to 3.4 million people (2016).

Thus (Table 1), the number of workers absorbed directly was about 2 million people in 2000 and increased to about 7.8 million people in 2016.

Table 1:   Growth in the number of workers at oil palm plantations

Description20002010201420152016
Oil palm farmers1,360,0003,420,0004,104,1004,281,5484,432,362
Employees717,9161,199,5523,202,2003,352,4223,454,532
Oil palm plantation workers2,077,9164,619,5527,306,3007,633,9707,886,894

Source: Agriculture Ministry (2015), various data

It is estimated that the rural labor force absorbed in oil palm plantations will continue to increase with the intensification and growing size of oil palm areas. Employment opportunities are also created outside of oil palm plantations from indirect effects and induced consumption effects from the growth of oil palm plantations.

The sectors in rural areas (Table 2) whose employment growth is the result of increased palm oil production are agricultural services, trade, restaurants, hotels and others.

Table 2:   Rural economic sectors whose labor absorption has increased because of CPO growth

RankEconomic Sector
1Agriculture Service
2Trade, Restaurant, Hotel
3Husbandry, Animal Health and Fishery
4Food Farming
5Transportation
6Financial Service
7Chemical Industry
8Other sector

Source: Table I-O Indonesia

Based on the above data, it is clear that oil palm plantations have a very big role either directly or indirectly in lowering unemployment rates in rural area.

Perkembangan perkebunan kelapa sawit baik oleh perusahaan swasta, BUMN maupun UKM (petani, supplier) menciptakan kesempatan kerja baru di kawasan pedesaan. Berdasarkan data Kementerian Pertanian (2015), jumlah karyawan yang bekerja pada perusahaan perkebunan kelapa sawit meningkat dari 718 ribu orang (2000) menjadi 3,4 juta orang (2016).

Dengan demikian (Tabel 1) jumlah tenaga kerja yang terserap secara langsung adalah sekitar 2 juta orang tahun 2000 meningkat menjadi sekitar 7,8 juta orang tahun 2016.

Tabel 1.   Pertumbuhan Jumlah Tenaga Kerja pada Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit (orang)

Uraian20002010201420152016
Tenaga Kerja Petani Sawit1.360.0003.420.0004.104.1004.281.5484.432.362
Karyawan717.9161.199.5523.202.2003.352.4223.454.532
Tenaga Kerja Kebun Sawit2.077.9164.619.5527.306.3007.633.9707.886.894

 Sumber : Kementerian Pertanian (2015), data diolah

Diperkirakan tenaga kerja pedesaan yang terserap pada perkebunan kelapa sawit masih akan meningkat dengan makin intensifnya dan makin bertambahnya luas kebun sawit. Kesempatan kerja juga tercipta di luar perkebunan kelapa sawit akibat efek tak langsung dan efek induksi konsumsi dari pertumbuhan perkebunan kelapa sawit.

Sektor-sektor pedesaan (Tabel 2) yang meningkat penyerapan tenaga kerjanya akibat peningkatan produksi minyak sawit antara lain jasa pertanian, perdagangan, restoran, hotel dan lain-lain.

Tabel 2. Sektor Ekonomi Pedesaan yang Penyerapan Tenaga Kerja Meningkat Akibat Pertumbuhan CPO

RankSektor Ekonomi
1Jasa Pertanian
2Perdagangan, Restoran, Hotel
3Peternakan, Kesehatan Hewan dan Perikanan
4Tanaman Pangan
5Transportasi
6Jasa Keuangan
7Industri Kimia
8Sektor lain

Sumber: Tabel I-O Indonesia

Berdasarkan data tersebut di atas, jelas perkebunan kelapa sawit sangat besar peranannya baik langsung maupun tidak langsung dalam menurunkan tingkat pengangguran di pedesaan.

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