East Borneo’s Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) Make Palm Sticks Go International

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Oil palm is known as a mystical plant. This is because all parts of the oil palm can be utilized. Not only can its oil be processed into food, toiletries, cosmetics, detergents, or biodiesel, but its biomass and waste, such as bunches, shells, and palm fronds, can also be used as a product of high economic value and use.

palm stick
Wooven Plate from Palm Oil Sticks (Source: siakkab.go.id)

One of the potential products produced from processed oil palm biomass, especially the midrib, is to turn it into palm sticks. Generally, palm sticks are only used for making broom sticks. However, in line with the development of market preferences, palm sticks are also processed into various handicraft products, such as woven plates, wall hangings, and furniture (tropical style furniture), which are currently in great demand by the younger generation. The implication is that the palm stick market is also experiencing development, not only in the domestic market, but also in foreign markets such as Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Canada.

In early October 2021, four Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) in Muara Badak District, Kutai Kartanegara Regency, East Kalimantan Province, namely BUMDes Mekar Jaya, BUMDes Bina Mandiri, BUMDes Karya Prima, and BUMDes Maranu, succeeded in exporting palm stick products to Canada. The palm sticks were collected and purchased by the them from local craftsmen at a price of around Rp. 2 thousand. Then the four Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) supply PT Masagenah as an exporter that has entered into a cooperation agreement with them. It is planned that the export of palm sticks from East Borneo’s BUMDes will also expand its market to India and Bangladesh.

 

This palm sticks export from the East Borneo’s Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) is also included in the Gerakan Nasional Bangga Buatan Indonesia (Gernas BBI), which campaigned by the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration. This programme in this year is centered in Samarinda, East Borneo. This movement is also expected to be a momentum for the economic recovery of this provinces and Indonesia after the Covid-19 pandemic.

On another occasion, Mr. Ramadhani Pratama Guna, who is a representative of Bank Indonesia East Kalimantan Province in the Webinar Palm O’Corner at the University of Balikpapan organized by PASPI and HMFE University of Balikpapan, explained that palm oil has become a new rising star for the East Kalimantan economy. To increase its potential for the economy, Bank Indonesia is also strongly committed to encouraging the downstreaming of palm oil, for example through the MSME credit policy, and support for the MSME 4.0 program.

Furthermore, Dr. Didik Hadiyatno, SE, M.Si, a lecturer in Management at the Faculty of Economics, University of Balikpapan, also mentioned that MSMEs based on the utilization of palm oil waste which are processed into high economic value products such as furniture products are one of the efforts to increase the contribution of the palm oil industry as the economic locomotive of East Kalimantan.

This shows that the use of oil palm biomass/waste (fronds) into palm sticks by the community around the plantation in the form of community-based micro-business units such as BUMDes, is able to move the village-level economy so that it can have implications for creating economic benefits (multiplier effect) in aggregate/macro which can be perceived by the wider community (inclusive).

Not only economic and social benefits, but processing palm oil waste into palm sticks is also able to reduce environmental waste. Considering the large potential of palm fronds that can be produced, it can reach 40-50 fronds/tree/year. If it is not processed, you can imagine the amount of waste produced and the potential additional economic value that will be wasted.

Tanaman kelapa sawit memiliki predikat sebagai tanaman ajaib. Hal ini dikarenanakan semua bagian kelapa sawit dapat dimanfaatkan. Tidak hanya minyaknya yang multiguna yang dapat diolah menjadi bahan pangan, toileteries, kosmetik, deterjen atau biodiesel, biomassa dan limbah sawit seperti tandan, cangkang hingga pelepah sawit, juga dapat dimanfaatkan sebagai produk bernilai guna dan ekonomi tinggi.

palm stick
Wooven Plate from Palm Oil Sticks (Source: siakkab.go.id)

Salah satu potensi produk hasil olahan biomass kelapa sawit, khususnya pelepah, yakni menjadi lidi sawit. Umumnya, lidi sawit hanya dimanfaatkan hanya untuk pembuatan sapu lidi. Namun seiring dengan perkembangan preferensi pasar, lidi sawit juga diolah menjadi berbagai produk kerajinan berbasis lidi sawit seperti piring anyaman, hiasan dinding hingga furniture bergaya tropical yang saat ini sedang banyak diminati oleh generasi muda.  Implikasinya pasar lidi sawit juga turut mengalami perkembangan, tidak hanya di pasar dalam negeri, tetapi juga pasar luar negeri seperti Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bangladesh hingga Kanada.

Pada awal Oktober 2021, empat BUMDes di Kecamatan Muarah Badak Kabupaten Kutai Kartanegara Provinsi Kalimantan Timur yaitu BUMDes Mekar Jaya, BUMDes Bina Mandiri, BUMDes Karya Prima, dan BUMDes Maranu, berhasil mengekspor produk lidi sawit ke Kanada. Lidi sawit tersebut dikumpulkan dan dibeli oleh keempat BUMDes dari pengrajin setempat dengan harga di kisaran Rp 2 ribu. Kemudian keempat BUMDes tersebut menyuplai ke PT Masagenah selaku eksportir yang telah melakukan perjanjian kerjasama dengan BUMDes tersebut. Rencananya ekspor lidi sawit dari BUMDesa Kaltim ini juga akan melakukan ekspansi pasar yaitu ke India dan Bangladesh.

Kegiatan ekspor lidi sawit dari Bumdes Kalimantan Timur ini juga termasuk ke dalam program Gerakan Nasional Bangga Buatan Indonesia (Gernas BBI) yang dikampanyekan oleh Kementerian Desa Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal dan Transmigrasi, dimana pada tahun ini dipusatkan di Samarinda Kaltim. Gerakan ini juga diharapkan menjadi momentum kebangkitan ekonomi Provinsi Kalimantan Timur dan Indonesia pasca Pandemi Covid-19.

Di kesempatan yang berbeda, Bapak Ramadhani Pratama Guna yang merupakan perwakilan Bank Indonesia Provinsi Kaltim dalam Webinar Palm O’Corner di Universitas Balikpapan yang diselenggarakan oleh PASPI dan HMFE Universitas Balikpapan memaparkan bahwa kelapa sawit telah menjadi new rising star bagi perekonomian Kaltim. Untuk meningkatkan potensinya bagi perekonomian, maka Bank Indonesia juga berkomitmen kuat untuk mendorong hilirisasi sawit, misalnya melalui kebijakan kredit UMKM, dan dukungan program UMKM 4.0.

Selanjutnya, Dr. Didik Hadiyatno, SE, M.Si, dosen Manajemen Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Balikpapan, juga menyebutkan bahwa UMKM berbasis pemanfaatan limbah sawit yang diolah menjadi produk bernilai ekonomi tinggi seperti produk furniture, merupakan salah satu upaya untuk meningkatkan kontribusi industri sawit sebagai lokomotif ekonomi Kalimantan Timur.

Hal ini menunjukkan pemanfaatan biomassa/limbah sawit (pelepah) menjadi lidi sawit oleh masyarakat sekitar kebun dalam bentuk unit usaha mikro berbasis rakyat seperti BUMDesa, mampu menggerakkan perekonomian level desa sehingga dapat berimplikasi pada terciptakan manfaat ekonomi (multiplier effect) secara agregat/makro yang dapat dirasakan oleh masyarakat yang lebih luas (inklusif).

Tidak hanya manfaat ekonomi dan sosial, pengolahan limbah sawit menjadi lidi sawit juga mampu mengurangi sampah lingkungan. Mengingat besarnya potensi pelepah sawit yang dapat dihasilkan mencapai 40-50 pelepah/pohon/tahun. Jika tidak diolah maka dapat dibayangkan besarnya sampah-sampah yang dihasikan dan potensi penambahan nilai ekonomi yang akan terbuang sia-sia.

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