A lack of knowledge on managing palm oil plantations in schools has prompted Asian Agri to launch its fourth edition of the Sekolah Sawit Lestari program at SMKN 1 Pangkalan Kerinci in Indonesia’s Riau province.
The Sekolah Sawit Lestari program is one of Asian Agri’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, held in collaboration with local governments as well as formal education institutions at the elementary, junior and high school levels, around company areas.
Through the program, Asian Agri enhances the skills and knowledge of students (and their parents) about sustainable palm oil management.
Pelalawan Regency Vice Mayor Drs H. Zardewan said the initiative undertaken by Asian Agri is a positive example for palm companies to share their knowledge with communities through both education and coaching.
“This will be very useful for Pelalawan communities whose citizens are mostly palm oil smallholders. We hope that in the future, these palm oil plantations will continue to be run by their children,” Zardewan said.
Asian Agri Head of Sustainability Operations & CSR Welly Pardede said that every school needs formal training about palm oil so that students will understand how to manage palm oil plantations properly.
“To facilitate sustainable palm oil farms, we are starting at the school level, by educating students and their communities. We hope that students will be able to support their parents in carrying out the best farming practices and moreover even continue running their parents’ palm oil plantations with better knowledge and skills which are environmentally-friendly, as disseminated through the program,” he explained.