INDONESIA and Malaysia are two countries that benefiting from oil palm industry. In Indonesia, there are 17 million people working in the palm oil sector, while in Malaysia is estimated two million people. The fact was revealed at an international conference on poverty alleviation at the Pontifical Urban University of the Vatican in Rome, Tuesday (15/05/2018). The Coordinating Minister for Marine Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, said that of the total 11.6 million hectares of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, 41% of them are smallholder plantations. There are 2.1 million palm oil farmers in Indonesia. `The agricultural sector is very important and is the backbone of the national economy, while in the agricultural sub-sector, palm oil is the largest contributor of foreign exchange with earnings of EUR 15.5 billion or more than Rp250 trillion,` said Luhut who was the speaker at the High Level Segment Seminar, in a statement received in Jakarta, Tuesday (15/05/2018). On this occasion the Malaysian ambassador to the Vatican, Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, also said that in 2017 Malaysia is already in their 100 years of oil palm cultivation. The palm oil sector not only sustains the economic growth of the neighboring country, but also becomes a means of social inclusion and environment protection. `Palm oil productivity is 10 times higher than soyabean and four times higher than sunflower. If the world wants to curb deforestation, palm oil is the most likely crop to be developed and palm oil is also effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,` said Dompok. Meanwhile, representatives of the Vatican Catholic Church, Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, said the agriculture sector, including oil palm plantations, could be a business sector to reduce poverty. `However, there must be a balance between economic activity and environmental management,` Turkson said. Turkson also supports constructive dialogue among stakeholders to find solutions in achieving such an economic and environmental balance.