Bambang M.M, The Director General of Plantation at the Ministry of Agriculture, has stressed the importance of the partnership program between farmers and palm oil companies, reported Perkebunan News.
“The government is present to protect farmers. Don’t let farmers develop palm oil without partnering with companies,” said Bambang, on the sidelines of the 13th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) 2017.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Darmin Nasution similarly said the same thing. He said there must be a cooperation program between farmers and the companies. Through this partnership program, the companies will get guaranteed raw materials – fresh fruit bunches (FFB) – while farmers will get a guaranteed market for their produce.
“The government is very convinced that it will be very difficult to make the program more extensive, more so in terms of intensification or improvement of people’s farms,” Darmin explained.
According to Darmin, prior to this partnership program, many farmers faced a lot problems, one of which was the problem of using uncertified seeds that caused low productivity. In that regard, the existence of the partnership program is of great help to the farmer’s plantations.
Through the partnership program, it is expected that farmers can get the best quality seeds.
“So through the partnership, farmers can acquire excellent seeds, good plantation management, and so on,” Darmin explained.
This is evident by looking at Sugiarto, a plasma farmer who has joined the Perkebunan Inti Rakyat Transmigasi (PIR-Trans) program since 1993 and whose life has changed after partnering with a palm oil company.
“I became a plasma farmer in 1993 with 1 block (around 2 hectares) of land area. As a plasma farmer, I can now buy a house in Bondowoso, East Java as well as the area where I first became a palm oil farmer in Jambi,” said Sugiarto, who hails from Tidar Kuranji Village in the Maro Sebo Ilir Sub-district of Batang Hari Regency in Indonesia.