Climate in 2021: Friendly for Palm Oil Production
Geographically, Indonesia is located in a tropical area that is crossed by the equator and is located between two continents (Australia and Asia) and the two oceans (Indian and Pacific). This makes the dynamics of Indonesia’s climate affected by the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).
ENSO is a natural phenomenon in the form of fluctuations in sea surface temperature around the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean that interacts with changes in atmospheric conditions above it. In contrast to ENSO in the Pacific Ocean, IOD occurs in the Indian Ocean. These climate phenomena are one of the factors that controlling climate both in Indonesia and the world.
After passing 2020, in that year there was a La Nina climate anomaly in Indonesia which had an impact on climate-friendly with minimal forest and land fires. In 2021, the climate phenomenon that will occur in Indonesia is ENSO Neutral, which is a normal condition or no climate anomaly (La Nina or El Nino).
This was confirmed by Dr. Ir. Dodo Gunawan, DEA. as the Head of Climate Change Information Center at the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) in the Webinar Ngobrol Bareng GAPKI, which stated that BMKG predicts a neutral climate phenomenon will occur from May to November 2021. In these conditions, the dry season in several regions in Indonesia is predicted to start in May and June 2021, and then peak in August and September.
Despite entering the dry season, the forecast for increased rainfall in this period is still occurring. This can be seen from the SST condition which shows water availability for the rainfall. In addition, it is estimated that rainfall conditions in most areas are generally still normal and above normal.
Talking about climate, all agricultural commodities depend on the climate for their productivity. Likewise for the oil palm commodity, where the climate is one of the factors that affect the productivity of oil palm. The neutral climate that will occur in 2021 is still considered conducive to palm oil production.
Dr. Hasan Hasril Siregar as a senior agro-climate researcher in IOPRI explained that the dry season in 2021 is estimated to be in normal conditions and for a shorter period. Seeing this, he also predicts that this condition won’t cause drought so that it won’t have a significant impact on palm oil production. The IORI Agro-Climatology Team also projects palm productivity in 2021, the potential production of palm oil in conditions without drought will reach 55.69 million tons, with a production ratio for S1 and S2 respectively 47% and 53%.
Although dry conditions in a neutral climate phenomenon are still relatively safe for palm oil production, Dr. Hasan still emphasized remaining vigilant against forest and land fire disasters by making various prevention efforts, one of which is by following IPOA’s guidelines for preventing and controlling forest and land fires.
With a climate-friendly forecast for palm oil production this year, it is hoped that this will boost the enthusiasm of producers both corporates and smallholders to maximize the increase in productivity and production of palm oil. Their producers must also use this climate forecast to determine the time for fertilization, map potential attacks by pests and diseases, develop supporting infrastructure, and map fire-prone areas as a preventive measure.
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