Riau, 19 December 2017 – In its continuous efforts to prepare the second generation of sustainable palm oil farmers, Asian Agri will be distributing knowledge to the people of Riau following today’s launch of the fourth Sekolah Sawit Lestari Program at SMKN 1 Pangkalan Kerinci.
Sekolah Sawit Lestari is one of Asian Agri’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, held in collaboration with formal education institutions at the elementary, junior and high school levels, as well as local governments, in the company’s surrounding areas.
The program, which was inaugurated in 2016 at SMAN 11 Batanghari in Jambi, aims to provide knowledge and skills to local students and their parents about sustainable palm oil management.
Pelalawan Deputy Regent Drs. H. Zardewan, MM in his speech said: “Asian Agri’s initiative is a good example of palm oil companies giving to the community, through education and knowledge sharing. This program will benefit the community especially of Pelalawan greatly, especially since many who live here are palm oil farmers, and their children will eventually running their farms.”
Meanwhile, Asian Agri Head of Sustainability Operations & CSR Welly Pardede said: “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”.
SMKN 1 Pangkalan Kerinci was chosen to take part in the program because the school can play a positive role in influencing the Pelalawan Regency. Additionally, there are various fields of study available at the school, some of which focus on agriculture.
The Sekolah Sawit Lestari Program curriculum comprises a mix of both theoretical and practical knowledge in how to manage palm oil plantations in a sustainable manner. The students are taught directly how to plant, nurture, and harvest palm fruit optimally.
Head of SMKN 1 Pangkalan Kerinci Nurasia M. Pd stated that the school was committed to supporting the program.
“All this while, we have only acquired ‘surface’ knowledge about palm oil. So the presence of those who directly manage palm oil plantations with the best practices will definitely provide the students with more comprehensive knowledge.
“We hope that the program is in line with the government-level programs which place emphasis on practical skills which will be useful and beneficial to all parties, particularly students who should be ‘industry-ready’ after graduation,” Nurasia said.
About Asian Agri:
Asian Agri is one of the leading private companies in Indonesia producing crude palm oil (CPO) since 1979 and employs around 25,000 people today. Since 1987, Asian Agri has been a pioneer of the Indonesian government’s Trans-National Government Migration (PIR-Trans) program. Today, the company manages 100,000 Ha of land and partners 29,000 smallholder families in Riau and Jambi who operate 60,000 Ha of palm oil plantation.
Asian Agri’s success in becoming one of the leading CPO companies has been acknowledged internationally with the ISO 14001 certification for all of its operations. Its Learning Institute in Pelalawan, Riau, as well as its nursery research center in Kampar, Riau are ISO 9001 certified. In addition, Asian Agri’s R&D Center in Tebing Tinggi has also obtained certification by the International Plant-Analytical Exchange at the WEPAL lab at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, for its high standards.
More than 86% of both owned plantations in North Sumatra, Riau & Jambi provinces & scheme smallholder plantations in Riau & Jambi provinces have been RSPO certified.
All plantations have also been ISCC-certified (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification), including plantation owned by smallholders. Palm oil mills and plantation in Buatan, Ukui, Soga, Tungkul Ulu, and Muara Bulian have been ISPO (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil) certified.
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