Palm O’Corner at Jambi University: The Palm Oil Industry Contributes to the Achievement of SDGs at Regional, National and Global Levels

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As a new global development platform, the entire global community strives to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Indonesia. The Indonesian Government through The Regulation of Minister of National Development Planning Agency (Head of Bappenas) Number 7/2018 has compiled strategic and action plans carried out by the central government (ministries/institutions) and local governments, stakeholders (community organizations, academics, business actors) and the community in order to achieve the SDGs.

The palm oil industry, as a strategic economic sector for Indonesia and also part of the global industry, has also taken a position as part of the achievement of the SDGs both at the regional (village, sub-district, district, province), national and global levels.

palm oil corner
Palm O’Corner at Jambi University
Discussions related to the contribution of the palm oil industry to the achievement of the SDGs have always been an interesting issue. Therefore, PASPI (Palm Oil Agribusiness Strategic Policy Institute), which collaborates with the Student Executive Board (Badan Eksekutif Mahasiswa/BEM), Faculty of Agriculture, held a Palm O’Corner event at Jambi University. The online seminar presented three speakers, namely Dr. Tungkot Sipayung (Executive Director of PASPI), Dr. Forst. Ir. Bambang Irawan, SP., M.Sc. Forst. Trop. IPU (Head of Forestry Study Program, Faculty of Agriculture, Jambi University), and Tidar M. Bagaskara (Chairman of GAPKI Jambi).

 

Jambi Province is included in the Top-10 provinces of palm oil centers in Indonesia. The oil palm plantations in this province reached 1.03 million hectares in 2018 and are expected to reach 1.09 million hectares by 2020, accounting for 7 percent of the total oil palm plantations in Indonesia. With its area and also supported by the existence of the processing industry, it shows that the palm oil industry also has the potential to become a main actor in the context of realizing the SDGs in Jambi.

In his presentation, Mr. Tidar said that the existence of oil palm plantation companies in Jambi generated a multiplier effect felt by rural communities. Through partnership between plantation companies with surrounding communities and supported by the presence of mills and other plantation infrastructure spread in remote areas, it will encourage the development of smallholder oil palm plantations, both plasma and independent.

Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) sales transactions between plantation companies and smallholders create an increase in their income and purchasing power. Then, through economic activities in rural areas, increasing income is also transmitted to other rural communities who are not directly involved in oil palm plantations. The implication is that new economic centers have emerged in remote areas of Jambi, such as in Kuamang Kuning Village, Bungo Regency.

Empirical and practical evidence presented by Mr. Tidar as an oil palm plantation business actor in Jambi shows that the presence of plantation companies in remote areas is able to become the locomotive of the rural economy and has succeeded in realizing several SDG goals such as SDG-1, SDG-2, SDG-3, SDG-4, SDG-8, and SDG-9 at the rural level.

This was also confirmed by Dr. Tungkot Sipayung, who presented empirical evidence from the palm oil industry, which has contributed to realizing 15 of the 17 SDGs at the regional, national, and global levels. These goals of the SDGs are: SDGs-1 (No Poverty), SDGs-2 (Zero Hunger), SDGs-3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDGs-4 (Quality Education), SDGs-5 (Gender Equality), SDGs-6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDGs-7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDGs-8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDGs-9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDGs-10 (Reducing inequality), SDGs-11 (Sustainable city and community), SDGs-12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDGs-13 (Climate action), SDGs-14 (Life Below Water), and SDGs-15 (Life on Land).

Implementation of strengthening partnerships between oil palm plantation companies and smallholder institutions as stipulated in the Minister of Agriculture Number. 18/2021, which is not only engaged in the oil palm plantation sector, but is expanded to other productive business activities such as the upstream subsystem, downstream subsystem, support subsystem, replanting activity facilities and other forms of partnership, is expected to be an effort for palm oil industry players to realize SDG-16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institution).

In addition, through international cooperation to support sustainable governance of the national palm oil industry such as ISPO, MSPO and RSPO, it is hoped that this will be a way for the palm oil industry to contribute to the achievement of SDG-17 (Partnership for The Goals). This means that the palm oil industry has the potential to realize all the goals in the SDGs.

Empirical evidence of the contribution of palm oil to the achievement of the SDGs a was also discussed by other speakers, namely Dr. Forst. Ir. Bambang Irawan, SP., M.Sc. Forst. Trop. IPU. In his presentation, Dr. Bambang explained the results of the study conducted by the Research Team consisting of cross-institutions, namely the University of Jambi, Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), and the University of Gottingen, Germany, regarding the achievement of the SDGs by the Top-4 major vegetable oils in the world.

The results of the study show that compared to soybean oil in Brazil, rapeseed oil in the European Union and sunflower seed oil in Ukraine, palm oil is superior in contributing to the achievement of the SDGs in Indonesia by 2030. The palm oil industry contributes substantially to the achievement of SDG-1, SDG-3, SDG-4, SDG-10, SDG-13, SDG-14, and SDG-15.

This means that Indonesia will not achieve these seven SDGs without the palm oil industry, or at least it will require additional time (more than 10 years) to achieve the goal. The palm oil industry in Indonesia also has an important contribution to make in achieving SDG-2 and SDG-8. This means that Indonesia will achieve both SDGs without the palm oil industry, or at least it will require additional time (5-10 years) to achieve these goals.

In addition to its contribution to the SDGs, the presence of palm oil, which has advantages related to its relatively high productivity level, reaching 6-10 times the productivity of other vegetable oils, makes palm oil a key factor in protecting the global land bank in line with the exponential growth demand for vegetable oil in the future. It also shows that the palm oil industry is able to prevent future global deforestation.

Information on the positive values ​​and contributions of the palm oil industry to the achievement of the SDGs at various levels (regional, national and global) should be echoed louder. For example, researchers and lecturers can take part in promoting this through the publication of international scientific journals, as well as students can use their social media platforms to disseminate the information. Knowing the contribution of palm oil to the achievement of the SDGs by the international community is expected to increase the market acceptance so that there will be no more black campaigns or trade policies for palm oil.

Sebagai platform baru pembangunan dunia, seluruh komunitas global berupaya untuk mewujudkan Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), termasuk Indonesia. Pemerintah Indonesia melalui Peraturan Menteri Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional/Kepala Bappenas RI No. 7/2018 telah menyusun langkah strategis dan rencana aksi yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah pusat (Kementerian/Lembaga) dan pemerintah daerah, stakeholder (organisasi kemasyarakat, akademisi, pelaku usaha) serta masyarakat dalam rangka untuk mencapai Tujuan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan (TPB) atau SDGs.

Industri sawit sebagai sektor ekonomi strategis bagi Indonesia dan juga bagian dari industri global turut mengambil posisi sebagai bagian dari pencapaian SDGs baik di tingkat regional (desa, kecamatan, kabupaten, provinsi), nasional maupun global.

palm oil corner
Palm O’Corner di Universitas Jambi

Pembahasan terkait kontribusi industri sawit terhadap pencapaian SDGs selalu menjadi isu yang menarik. Oleh karena itu, PASPI (Palm Oil Agribusiness Strategic Policy Institute) yang berkolaborasi dengan BEM Fakultas Pertanian menyelenggarakan acara Palm O’Corner di Universitas Jambi. Dalam seminar onliner tersebut menghadirkan tiga narasumber yaitu Dr. Tungkot Sipayung (Direktur Eksekutif PASPI), Dr. Forst. Ir. Bambang Irawan, SP., M.Sc. Forst. Trop. IPU (Ketua Program Studi Kehutanan Fakultas Pertanian Universitas Jambi), dan Tidar M. Bagaskara (Ketua GAPKI Jambi).

Provinsi Jambi termasuk kedalam Top-10 provinsi sentra sawit Indonesia. Luas areal perkebunan sawit di provinsi ini mencapai 1.03 juta hektar tahun 2018 dan diestimasikan mencapai 1.09 juta hektar tahun 2020, atau pangsanya sebesar 7 persen dari total perkebunan sawit di Indonesia. Dengan luas perkebunan sawit tersebut yang juga didukung oleh keberadaan industri pengolahannnya menunjukkan industri sawit juga berpotensi menjadi aktor dalam rangka mewujukan SDGs di Jambi.

Dalam paparan yang disampaikan oleh Bapak Tidar menyebutkan keberadaan perusahaan perkebunan sawit di Jambi menghasilkan multiplier effect yang dirasakan oleh masyarakat di wilayah pedesaan. Melalui hubungan kemitraan antara perusahaan perkebunan dengan masyarakat sekitar serta didukung dengan keberadaan 78 PKS dan infrastruktur kebun lainnya yang tersebar di daerah pelosok akan mendorong berkembangnya perkebunan sawit rakyat baik plasma maupun swadaya.

Transaksi penjualan TBS antara perusahaan perkebunan dan petani sawit rakyat menciptakan peningkatan pendapatan dan daya beli petani sawit rakyat. Kemudian melalui aktivitas ekonomi yang menyebabkan perputaran keuangan di wilayah pedesaan sehingga peningkatan pendapatan juga ditransmisikan kepada masyarakat pedesaan lainnya yang tidak terlibat secara langsung pada perkebunan sawit. Implikasinya muncul pusat-pusat perekonomian baru di wilayah pelosok Jambi, seperti di Desa Kuamang Kuning Kabupaten Bungo.

Bukti empiris dan praktis yang disampaikan oleh Pak Tidar selaku pelaku usaha perkebunan sawit di Jambi menunjukkan bahwa keberadaan perusahaan perkebunan di pelosok daerah mampu menjadi lokomotif ekonomi pedesaan dan berhasil mewujudkan beberapa tujuan SDG seperti SDG-1, SDG-2, SDG-3, SDG-4, SDG-8, dalam SDG-9 pada level pedesaan.

Hal tersebut juga terkonfirmasi oleh Dr. Tungkot Sipayung yang memaparkan bukti empiris industri sawit industri sawit yang telah berkontribusi mewujudkan 15 dari 17 SDGs baik pada level regional, nasional maupun global. Kelima belas SDGs tersebut adalah: SDGs-1 (No Poverty), SDGs-2 (Zero Hunger), SDGs-3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDGs-4 (Quality Education), SDGs-5 (Gender Equality), SDGs-6 (Clean water and Sanitation), SDGs-7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDGs-8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDGs-9 (Industry, Inovasi and Infrastructure), SDGs-10 (Reducing inequality), SDGs-11 (Sustainable city and community), SDGs-12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDGs-13 (Climate action), SDGs-14 (Life Below Water), dan SDGs-15 (Life on Land).

Implementasi penguatan kemitraan antara perusahaan perkebunan sawit dan kelembagaan petani sawit rakyat yang tertuang dalam Permentan No. 18/2021 yang tidak hanya bergerak pada sektor perkebunan sawit, namun diperluas pada kegiatan usaha produktif lainnya seperti pada subsistem hulu, subsistem hilir, subsistem penunjang, fasilitas kegiatan peremajaan dan bentuk kemitraan lainnya, diharapkan menjadi upaya pelaku industri sawit untuk mewujudkan SDG-16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institution). Selain itu, melalui kerjasama internasional untuk mendukung tata kelola industri sawit nasional yang berkelanjutan seperti ISPO, MSPO dan RSPO diharapkan menjadi jalan agar industri sawit berkontribusi terhadap pencapaian SDG-17 (Partnership for The Goals). Artinya industri sawit berpotensi mewujudkan seluruh tujuan dalam SDGs.

Bukti empiris kontribusi minyak sawit terhadap pencapaian SDGs juga dibahas oleh narasumber lain yaitu Dr. Forst. Ir. Bambang Irawan, SP., M.Sc. Forst. Trop. IPU. Dalam kesempatan paparannya, Dr. Bambang menjelaskan hasil studi yang dilakukan oleh Tim Peneliti yang terdiri dari lintas institusi yaitu Universitas Jambi, IPB dan Universitas Gottingen Jerman terkait pencapaian SDGs oleh Top-4 minyak nabati utama dunia.

Hasil studi tersebut menyajikan bahwa dibandingkan dengan minyak kedelai di Brazil, minyak rapeseed di Uni Eropa dan minyak biji bunga matahari di Ukraina, minyak sawit lebih unggul dalam berkontribusi terhadap pencapaian SDGs di Indonesia pada tahun 2030. Industri sawit berkontribusi secara substansial terhadap pencapaian SDG-1, SDG-3, SDG-4, SDG-10, SDG-13, SDG-14 dan SDG-15.

Artinya Indonesia tidak akan mencapai tujuh SDGs tersebut tanpa industri minyak sawit atau paling tidak memerlukan tambahan waktu lebih dari 10 tahun untuk mencapai tujuan tersebut. Industri sawit di Indonesia juga memiliki kontribusi yang penting dalam pencapaian SDG-2 dan SDG-8. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa Indonesia akan mencapai kedua SDGs tersebut tanpa industri minyak sawit tetapi membutuhkan waktu yang lebih lama sekitar 5- 10 tahun untuk mencapai tujuan tersebut.

Selain kontribusinya terhadap SDGs, keberadaan minyak sawit yang memiliki keunggulan terkait tingkat produktivitasnya yang relatif tinggi mencapai 6-10 kali dari produktivitas minyak nabati lainnya membuat minyak sawit menjadi key factor dalam melindungi global land bank seiring dengan pertumbuhan eksponensial demand minyak nabati di masa depan. Hal ini juga menunjukkan bahwa industri sawit mampu mencegah deforestasi dunia yang terjadi di masa depan.

Informasi nilai-nilai positif dan kontribusi industri sawit terhadap pencapaian SDGs di berbagai level (regional, nasional dan global) seharusnya digaungkan lebih keras. Seluruh pihak dapat ambil bagian untuk mempromosikan hal tersebut, misalnya para peneliti dan dosen melalui publikasi jurnal ilmiah internasional, serta mahasiswa menggunakan platform sosial medianya untuk menyebarluaskan informasi tersebut. Diketahuinya kontribusi sawit terhadap pencapaian SDGs oleh masyarakat internasional diharapkan dapat meningkatkan keberterimaan pasar sehingga tidak akan ada lagi black campaign maupun kebijakan perdagangan yang menghambat minyak sawit.

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