Oil Palm Plantation: Inherit the Cross Generation “Pie of Life”

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Human life on planet earth is not the inheritance of our ancestors but a loan from  our children and grandchildren. Human life on planet earth doesn’t only last for a day, but it continues to happen across generations. Therefore, the human task of living today is not only to pass on the source of life for the next generation, but to pass on a greater source of life for the generation of our children and grandchildren.

The oil palm plantation in Indonesia originated from only four trees in the Bogor botanical garden in 1848. If the only four trees had preserved until now, then we could have only enjoyed the palm trees as a collection of Bogor botanical garden that might get extinct by then. And certainly the world community could not have enjoyed cooking oil, shampoo, soap, and biodiesel and so on.

oil palm plantation

Fortunately, our predecessors developed the four oil palm trees of the Bogor Botanical Gardens in the form of oil palm cultivation, which now is known as oil palm plantations, or palm plantations for short. Through the development of oil palm plantations since 100 years ago, from four palm trees had successfully been developed into 14.3 million hectares or about 21.5 billion palm trees and dozens of varieties today. Palm oil can not only be preserved, but also provide greater benefits and widely enjoyed by the world community today.

Through the development of oil palm plantations, multifunction of palm oil plantations can be presented in the life, which are the economic functions (white function), the “lungs” of the atmosphere function (green function), water management function (blue function) and social function (yellow function). The growth of multifunctional oil palm plantation, enables us to harvest the bigger and wider multi-benefits in the form of palm oil as food and non-food, job opportunity, business opportunity, income increase, poverty reduction and so on. Millions of people have been freed from poverty because of palm oil.

Not only that, through the ecological role of oil palm as the “lungs” of the atmosphere, the waste of the world community  in the form of carbon dioxide pollution is partially cleaned and replaced with the oxygen needed by the world community. 14.3 million hectares of oil palm plantations in Indonesia clears pollution of about 2.3 billion tons carbon dioxide and produces about 267.9 thousand tons of oxygen every day.

The development of oil palm plantations continues to improve in the cultivation techniques, variety and in the downstream industry, to enlarge the multifunctional “machine” capacity of oil palm plantations in generating multi-beneficial of oil palm for our future generations of children and grandchildren. Increasing productivity of oil palm plantations also means increasing the capacity of palm oil “machine” to produce oil, creating employment opportunities, creating income, reducing poverty and enlarging the capacity of the “lungs” of the earth’s atmosphere. Through the downstream of palm oil processing, it also means expanding the usefulness and benefits of palm oil.

The generations of people who benefit from the oil palm plantations, should be grateful to our predecessors of scientists, businessmen, oil palm growers and the government that has been developing palm oil for more than 100 years. So the today’s generation is responsible for enlarging and expanding the multi-benefits of oil palm plantations so it can be inherited as the next generation source of life.

Kehidupan manusia di planet bumi bukanlah warisan nenek moyang kita melainkan pinjaman dari anak cucu kita. Kehidupan manusia di planet bumi bukan hanya berlangsung hari ini saja melainkan berlangsung terus secara lintas generasi. Oleh karena itu, tugas manusia yang hidup saat ini tidak cukup hanya mewariskan sumber kehidupan untuk generasi berikutnya tetapi hendaklah mewariskan sumber kehidupan yang lebih besar bagi generasi anak cucu kita.

Tanaman kelapa sawit di Indonesia berawal dari hanya empat pohon di kebun raya Bogor tahun 1848. Jika hanya keempat pohon itu yang dilestarikan sampai sekarang maka kita hanya dapat menikmati tanaman kelapa sebagai koleksi kebun raya bogor saja yang sudah punah dimakan waktu itu. Dan dipastikan masyarakat dunia tidak dapat menikmati minyak goreng, shampo, sabun, dan biodiesel dan seterusnya.

oil palm

Untunglah para pendahulu kita mengembangkan keempat pohon kelapa sawit dari Kebun Raya Bogor tersebut dalam bentuk pembudidayaan kelapa sawit yang kini kita sebut perkebunan kelapa sawit atau disingkat kebun sawit. Melalui pengembangan kebun sawit sejak 100 tahun yang lalu, dari empat pohon sawit dikembangkan menjadi 14.3 juta hektar atau sekitar 21.5 miliar pohon sawit dan puluhan varietas saat ini. Tanaman kelapa sawit tidak hanya dapat dilestarikan tetapi juga memberi manfaat yang lebih besar dan meluas dinikmati masyarakat dunia saat ini.

Melalui pengembangan kebun sawit, multifungsi kebun sawit dapat dihadirkan dalam kehidupan yakni fungsi ekonomi (white function), fungsi “paru-paru “atmosfir (green function), fungsi tata air (blue function) dan fungsi sosial (yellow function). Berkembangnya multifungsi kebun sawit itu, membuat kita dapat memanen multibenefit yang lebih besar dan lebih luas. Berupa minyak sawit sebagai bahan pangan maupun non pangan, kesempatan kerja, kesempatan berusaha, peningkatan pendapatan, pengurangan kemiskinan dan seterusnya. Jutaan orang yang terbebas dari kemiskinan akibat sawit.

Tidak hanya itu, melalui peran ekologis kebun sawit sebagai “paru-paru” atmosfir, sampah masyarakat dunia setiap detik berupa polusi karbondioksida sebagian dibersihkan dan digantikan dengan oksigen yang diperlukan kehidupan masyarakat dunia. Dengan 14.3 juta hektar kebun sawit Indonesia membersihkan polusi karbondioksida sekitar 2.3 miliar ton dan menghasilkan sekitar 267.9 juta ton oksigen setiap hari.

Pengembangan kebun sawit masih terus berlanjut baik perbaikan kultur teknis, varietas maupun hilirisasi memperbesar kapasitas “mesin” multifungsi kebun sawit untuk menghasilkan multibenefit bagi generasi anak-cucu kita kedepan. Peningkatan produktivitas kebun sawit sama artinya dengan meningkatkan kapasitas “mesin” kebun sawit untuk menghasilkan minyak, menciptakan kesempatan kerja, menciptakan pendapatan, mengurangi kemiskinan dan memperbesar kapasitas “paru-paru” atmosfir bumi. Melalui hilirisasi minyak sawit juga berarti memperluas dayaguna dan manfaat minyak sawit.

Generasi masyarakat yang menikmati multi manfaat kebun sawit saat ini, patut berterimakasih kepada para pendahulu baik ilmuan, pengusaha, petani sawit dan pemerintah yang telah mengembagkan kebun sawit selama 100 tahun lebih ke belakang. Maka generasi saat ini wajib memperbesar dan memperluas multibenefit kebun sawit untuk diwariskan sebagai sumber kehidupan kegenerasi berikutnya.

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