"Palm oil is a strategic commodity, so it must be supported. In 2014 alone, palm oil contributed Rp250 trillion to foreign exchange earnings," he noted at the 11th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday.
Despite being the worlds largest palm oil producer and supplier, Indonesia is still unable to control the price of crude palm oil (CPO), he pointed out.
Therefore, he affirmed that Indonesia must strive to control the global CPO prices, so that the amount of earnings from the commodity can be larger.
"As the worlds main CPO exporter, Indonesia must be able to control the global CPO prices in the same way as wheat exporters are able to control the prices of wheat sold to importers, including Indonesia," he said.
He called on all palm oil producers in Indonesia and Malaysia to work closely, particularly after they formed the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) to improve the living standard of palm oil growers.
Palm oil plays an important role in improving the living standard of nearly 20 million people cultivating four million hectares of palm oil plantations, he stated.
"I am sorry this does not mean that we do not care about the environment," he remarked.
Indonesia and Malaysia must cooperate in fulfilling the global demand for CPO and strive to control the global CPO prices, he emphasized.
He forecast that Indonesias CPO production this year may reach 30 million tons, of which 6.8 million tons will be used to support the domestic biodiesel program.
(Reported by Dyah Dwi Astuti/Uu.INE/KR-BSR/A014)