Hoax 5 : The manpower required and employed at oil palm plantations does not fit with labor conditions in the regions’ rural areas
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The manpower required and employed at oil palm plantations does not fit with the labor conditions in the regions' rural area ?
In a bid to reduce unemployment in rural areas, it is necessary to develop economic sectors that would employ more labor, which is in line with the characteristics and backgrounds of rural labor. Oil palm plantations belong to an economic sector that is labor intensive. It is not only labor-intensive, but also accommodates the diverse skills of rural labors.
Generally, people in rural areas are mostly elementary school graduates or uneducated. About 49 percent of the productive age people in rural areas have primary school education and 49 percent are junior and senior high school graduates and only 2 percent have diplomas or Bachelor’s degrees, as shown in Figure below (BPS, 2002).
Figure : Comparison between the education of manpower in rural areas and those employed on oil palm plantations in Indonesia
A. structure of labor education in rural areas
B. Education structure of manpower at Oil Palm Plantations
The average education composition of laborers employed on oil palm plantations according to PASPI (2014) is as follows: about 51 percent have elementary school education, 16 percent have junior high school education, 30 percent have high school education and the remaining 4 percent have diplomas and Bachelor’s degrees. This is very similar to the composition of laborers available in the countryside.
In other words, the oil palm plantations are generally more accommodative to the background of laborers available in rural areas where the plantations are located. The view that the laborers employed by oil palm plantations do not match the quality of laborers in rural areas is not supported with facts.