Vice President Calls for Increased Palm Oil Production and Competitiveness

DENPASAR-Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has suggested to the national palm oil industry to improve productivity of oil palm plantations and palm oil competitiveness in the global market.

The government has launched smallholders’ oil palm plantations replanting program, widely known as PSR, to boost productivity. “I ask Minister of Agriculture to complete the PSR program,” Ma’ruf  said as he opened the 15th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) and 2020 Price Outlook in Nusa Dua, Bali, Thursday (31/10/2019).

IPOC is annual conference hosted by the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki). IPOC 2019 theme is focusing on how to manage the market and enhance competitiveness.

Ma’ruf said to improve productivity, we need to take some key actions that President Joko Widodo previously said. The actions are to take advantage of technology improvement, to implement the PSR, export market expansion, to boost downstream industry, as well as implementation of B20 mandatory program.

Vice President also said that the PSR program is running supported by the Indonesia Oil Palm Plantation Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS) that disburses a Rp25 million grant per hectare for smallholder farmers. In trying to speed up the program, Ma’ruf reaffirmed government’s commitment to help farmers to eliminate administrative barriers.

Speaking about improving competitiveness, the Vice President laid stress on the need of coping with the negative campaign against palm oil. Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) is the key to improve competitiveness.

Ma’ruf welcomed Gapki’s commitment to help all farmers to be ISPO-certified by 2020. He strongly believed that ISPO certification may ease negative image of Indonesia in international stage. “That’s why we are deemed necessary to cross check by looking at the data and facts,” Ma’ruf said.

Meanwhile, speaking about downstream industry, the Vice President said that boosting downstream industry is necessary to cope with oversupply of palm oil. “We need to improve investment field in palm oil downstream industry while at the same time to expand diversified products such as biofuel industry, foods, etc.” ***

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