JOURNAL MONITOR EDITION 34 : A REFLECTION AND HOPE FOR THE 109th OF NATIONAL PALM OIL DAY

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History records that the initial milestone of oil palm plantations in Indonesia occurred when the first commercialization of oil palm plantations in Pulo Raja (Asahan) and Sungai Liput (Aceh) was developed on 18 November 1911. Therefore, this date is celebrated as National Palm Oil Day. At the age of 109th, oil palm plantations and palm oil industry showing more their contribution to the Indonesian economy. Even the existence of industry is more real in the the Covid-19 Pandemic and the economic recession by becoming a major contributor to Indonesia’s economic growth. Other achievements of the palm oil industry have been achieved through palm oil-based downstreaming which is increasingly developing by producing various product innovations in the fields of food, health, oleochemicals to energy.

Behind the achievements have been made by the national palm oil industry, there are still problems or obsbtacles that faced by industrie. And if this problems left without a solving solution, it will threaten the existence of the national palm oil industry both in the domestic market and the global market in the future.

The main problem faced by oil palm industry players, both companies and oil palm farmers is land legality. For smallholder farmers, where most of their plantations are labeled as illegal because they enter forest areas, and this has negative implications because it preventing farmers to participating in development programs that have the opportunity to make farmers “upgrade” and have an equal position with plantation companies, namely increasing productivity by replanting (PSR) and Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO).  Another problem faced by the palm oil industry is the massive of black campaigns and trade policies that discriminate against palm oil-based products implemented by importing countries.

 

Sejarah mencatat tonggak awal perkebunan kelapa sawit di Indonesia terjadi pada saat dikembangkannya komersialisasi perkebunan sawit pertama di di  Pulo Raja (Asahan) dan Sungai Liput (Aceh) pada tanggal 18 November 1911. Oleh karena itu, setiap tanggal 18 November diperingati sebagai Hari Sawit Nasional. Menginjak usia ke-109 tahun, perkebunan dan industry sawit Indonesia semakin menunjukkan kontribusinya terhadap perekonomian Indonesia. Bahkan eksistensi industri sawit nasional semakin nyata di tengah Pandemi Covid-19 dan resesi ekonomi dengan menjadi kontributor utama terhadap pertumbuhan ekonomi Indonesia. Prestasi industri sawit lainnya dicapai melalui hilirisasi berbasis sawit yang semakin berkembang dengan menghasilkan berbagai inovasi produk dibidang pangan, kesehatan, oleokimia hingga energi.

Dibalik prestasi yang telah dicapai oleh industri sawit nasional, masih terdapat masalah/hambatan yang dihadapi oleh pelaku industri. Dan jika masalah ini terus dibiarkan tanpa ada solusi penyelesaian, maka akan mengancam eksistensi industri sawit nasional baik di pasar domestik maupun pasar global kedepannya.

Masalah utama yang dihadapi oleh pelaku industri sawit baik perusahaan maupun petani sawit adalah legalitas lahan. Bagi petani sawit rakyat, dimana sebagian besar perkebunannya dicap sebagai kebun ilegal karena masuk kawasan hutan, hal ini memiliki implikasi negatif yaitu menghambat petani sawit rakyat untuk mengikuti program yang berpeluang membuat petani “naik kelas” dan memiliki posisi yang setara dengan perusahaan perkebunan yaitu peningkatan produktivitas dengan PSR dan memiliki sertifikasi keberlanjutan Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO). Masalah lain yang dihadapi oleh industri sawit yaitu semakin maraknya black campaign dan kebijakan perdagangan mendiskriminasikan produk sawit yang banyak diimplementasikan negara importir.

 

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