No Other Approval Needed for Farmers to Withdraw Oil Palm Replanting Funds
BPDPKS assured oil palm farmers that they can withdraw oil palm replanting funds that have stayed in escrow account without having to get other approval.
JAKARTA—The Indonesia Oil Palm Plantations Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS) assured oil palm farmers that they can withdraw oil palm replanting funds that have stayed in escrow account without having to get other approval.
Responding to complaints submitted by some farmers, BPDPKS Director of Fund Collection Anwar Sunari reiterated his view that farmers don’t need other approval to withdraw the funds from escrow accounts.
"We must answer these issues according to the regulatory framework. If read the cooperation agreement, there is not a single term mentioning that withdrawing funds staying in escrow account must obtain approval from local head of plantations office. The parties that are involved in this agreement are only BPDPKS, the partner banks, and farmers organization. Therefore, farmers don’t need approval from the head of plantations office,” he explained during an online discussion organized by the Indonesian Oil Palm Smallholder Association (Apkasindo), Tuesday (19/5/2020).
Sunari also asserted that the funds disbursed by BPDPKS can be used to rebuild oil palm plantations without supporting funds. "It is not true that farmers can withdraw the grants from BPDPKS only if they have supporting funds. With or without supporting funds, the grants that have stayed in escrow account must be used to rebuild plantations.”
Similarly, the Director General of Estates at the Ministry of Agriculture Kasdi Subagyono said that local plantation offices are part of verification team who work together with the ministry to write out technical recommendation serving as basis for BPDPKS to disburse the grants. “Grants from BPDPKS are directly transferred only to escrow account possessed by farmers, farmers organization, or cooperatives.”
The government has been implementing a program called Peremajaan Sawit Rakyat or PSR, an oil palm replanting program for smallholders in an effort to increase productivity. In this program, smallholders receive grants from BPDPKS of Rp25 million per hectare.
To accelerate the program, the government has also simplified requirements to only two requirements so that smallholders can easily access the program. The requirements are assessed through single verification process and all application process can be done online. ***