JOURNAL MONITOR VOL.2 NO.26 OIL PALM PLANTATION: AN INTEGRAL PART OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION

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Oil palm plantations have an economic function known as a vegetable oil-producer plant (palm oil). The characteristics of oil palm as an annual plant and the shape of the tree make it have the advantage of being the most productive vegetable oil plant. In addition, oil palm plantations also has ecological functions is soil and water conservation.

Soil and water conservation is increasingly important in the context of the global development platform or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to the achievement of SDG-14 (life below water) and SDG-15 (life on land), and is even related to SDG-13 (Climate Action).

 

Oil palm plantations play a role in soil and water conservation through four mechanisms. Two of these mechanism are natural mechanism which are built into oil palm plants. The structure and mechanism of the leaf fronds/canopy cover system that physically protects the soil from direct rainwater. The root system of oil palm plants has broad and deep fibers with biopores that can reduce erosion while increasing groundwater and organic component reserves.

Another mechanism for water and soil conservation in oil palm plantations is a man-made mechanism. Implementation of Good Agriculture Practices in oil palm plantations that are integrated with soil and water conservation, such as legume cover crops, terracing systems on sloping land, mound systems, rorax, and mulch. Reuse of biomass forplantations can improve physical, chemical, and biological fertility of the soil as well as soil and water conservation.

Perkebunan kelapa sawit memiliki fungsi ekonomi yang dikenal sebagai tanaman penghasil minyak nabati (minyak sawit). Karakteristik tanaman kelapa sawit sebagai tanaman tahunan dan kategori pohon, menjadikan kelapa sawit memiliki keunggulan yakni sebagai tanaman penghasil minyak nabati paling produktif. Selain itu, perkebunan sawit juga berfungsi secara ekologis, salah satu fungsi ekologis yang dimaksud adalah fungsi konservasi tanah dan air.

 

Fungsi konservasi air dan tanah juga menjadi salah satu fungsi ekologi yang makin penting dalam konteks platform pembangunan global yakni Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Konservasi tanah dan air terkait dengan pencapaian target SDG-14 (life below water) dan SDG-15 (life on land), bahkan juga terkait dengan SDG-13 (Climate Action).

Perkebunan sawit berperan dalam konservasi tanah dan air melalui empat mekanisme baik mekanisme alamiahnya tanaman kelapa sawit. Struktur dan mekanisme pelepah daun/sistem kanopi (canopy cover) yang secara fisik melindungi tanah dari hujaman langsung air hujan. Sistem perakaran tanaman kelapa sawit, serabut yang luas dan dalam dengan biopori yang mampu mengurangi erosi sekaligus meningkatkan cadangan air tanah dan bahan organik.

Selain itu, mekanismen konservasi air dan tanah pada perkebunan sawit juga melalui mekanisme man-made. Implementasi Good Agriculture Practices perkebunan sawit yang terintegrasi dengan konservasi tanah dan air seperti legume cover crop, sistem teras sering lahan miring, sistem guludan , rorax, dan mulsa. Pengembalian biomas ke lahan perkebunan yang dapat memperbaiki kesuburan fisika, kimia dan biologi tanah serta konservasi tanah dan air.

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