Labuhanbatu, North Sumatra, 12 March, 2020 – Asian Agri through PT Hari Sawit Jaya (PT HSJ) recently held a four-day training session for midwives and integrated healthcare center representatives in Labuhanbatu Regency in North Sumatra, as part of efforts to support the Indonesian government in the prevention of stunting and chronic malnutrition issues caused by lack of nutrition in the country. The training session took place in the PT HSJ office in Labuhanbatu from March 9 to 12, 2020.
Inadequate nutritional intake can lead to growth disorders in children. Based on data from the ‘Studi Status Gizi Balita Indonesia’ (SSGBI) research study conducted in 2019, 6.3 million out of 23 million, or 27.67 per cent, of children under five years old experience stunting problems. This exceeds the maximum standard of 20 per cent set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Based on 2018 Ministry of Health data, 32.2 per cent of the stunting rate in Indonesia is in the North Sumatran region.
During the training session, participants learned about optimal maternal and fetal care including the importance of early breastfeeding for infants as well as proper nutrition intake for young children.
Welly Pardede, Asian Agri Head of HSE & CSR, said the training session was a manifestation of the company’s active role and efforts to reduce stunting, particularly in children residing in the vicinity of its operational areas.
“By conducting stunting prevention training for midwives and integrated healthcare center representatives from villages around the company’s operations, including Labuhanbatu, Batubara, Simalungun, Labuhanbatu Selatan and Labuhanbatu Utara villages, we hope the participants will be able to share what they have learned with the wider community,” said Welly.
Bangun Siregar, Head of the Bilah Hilir sub-district in Labuhanbatu, said improving the community’s understanding of stunting prevention is vital in assisting wider governmental stunting prevention efforts.
“Thank you to Asian Agri for doing its part in preventing stunting, especially in the Bilah Hilir area. I hope the health representatives who have been educated will be able to teach their communities about the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles through good eating habits as well as good hygiene,” said Bangun.
About Asian Agri:
Asian Agri is one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers since 1979. Today, the company manages 100,000 hectares of land and employs over 25,000 people. A pioneer of the Indonesian government’s Trans-National Government Migration (PIR-Trans) program, Asian Agri works with 30,000 plasma smallholders in Riau and Jambi who operate 60,000 hectares of palm oil plantations, as well as independent smallholders, bringing about positive impact on their quality of life and economic development.
Implementing a strict “no burn” policy and best practices in sustainable plantation management, Asian Agri has helped its smallholder partners improve productivity, yield and supply chain traceability, while assisting them obtain certifications. The company’s mills are technologically advanced and energy self-sufficient, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
Asian Agri is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). More than 86% of both owned plantations in North Sumatra, Riau & Jambi provinces and 100% of scheme smallholder plantations in Riau & Jambi provinces have been RSPO certified. All plantations, including those owned by smallholders, have been certified by ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification). The company has also been 100% ISPO (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil) certified.
The company’s operations are ISO 14001 certified, while its Learning Institute and nursery research center in Riau province, Indonesia are both ISO 9001 certified. Asian Agri’s R&D Center in North Sumatra was also given a certification by the International Plant-Analytical Exchange at the WEPAL lab at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, for its high standards.
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