La Nina Impact on Increasing Palm Oil Productivity
In the early of rainy season in 2020, climate anomaly namely La Nina has occured. In Spanish, La Nina means “the little girl” and represent periods of below-average sea surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean, so that it has an impact on increasing rainfall in the West Equatorial Pacific, which is Indonesia is included. La Nina causes higher rainfall during rainy season, apart from the monsoon factor. The Meterology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) estimates that La Nina cause increase rainfall up to 40 percent above normal.
Akhmad Faqih as an IPB University lecturer predicts that La Nina which occurs in Indonesia in 2020/2021 ranges from the weak to moderate category. However, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) predicts that the La Nina phenomenon in Indonesia will occur for several months until March 2021.
La Nina causes several region in Indonesia have the potential for heavy rain and followed by thunderbolt and strong winds, so that people must be aware of the hydrometeorological disasters such as floods, tornado, and landslides. Not only has an impact on human life, but La Nina also has an impact on the agricultural sector.
By this climate anomaly, the agricultural sector also become affected sector. This is because the weather and climate have important role in influencing the production of agricultural commodities. Increased intensity of prolonged rainfall also causes floods that have the potential to damage crops and affect productivity, such as disruption of rice harvests.
However, it is different from other agricultural commodities which are worried to have the potential to reduce productivity and production, on the other hand, La Nina has a positive impact on the productivity of palm oil. This was also confirmed according to the analysis from Iput Pradiko as a researcher at the Indonesia Oil Palm Research Institute (Pusat Penelitian Kelapa Sawit/PPKS) who stated that the 2020 rainfall was higher than in 2018 and 2019 and even the rainfall in some zones are more than the baseline rainfall (1991-2010), where this climate which is so favorable for palm oil. The implication of this conditions will have an impact on increasing palm oil productivity reach of 15 percent.
The increase in palm oil productivity is also affected by the age of plant. If the plant in a productive age, it will be directly proportional to the high rate of increase in productivity.
With the positive impact of this anomaly, IOPRI also suggests things that farmers need to maximize the increase in oil palm productivity. First, do the technical culture measures before the very wet rainy season (more than 300 mm per month), such as seeding according to standards and fertilizing, as well as treatment of ground cover to minimize erosion and implement early warning system for pests and diseases in plant.
Second, optimizing rainwater by collecting and revitalizing drainage channels in plantation to avoid flooding. Third, the infrastructure aspect must be repaired such as main road must be in good condition and not slippery so harvesting activities are not disturbed. And fourth, there must be an adjustment to the harvest rotation because the higher rainfall also coincides with the harvest season.
However, oil palm plantation actors, both companies and farmers, must be aware that floods may occur in oil palm plantation areas due to higher rainfall. The floods in oil palm plantations will disrupt harvesting and collecting of FFB, so that a lot of palm fruit is overripe or become rotten on the trees. This condition will cause losses for plantation companies or farmers.
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