Serdang Bedagai, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo symbolically planted a palm oil tree in Kota Tengah Village, North Sumatra, Monday, to launch a government program to rejuvenate palm oil plantations of smallholders in the province.

Palm oil is the green gold of Indonesia, as it offers several benefits to improve the living standards of the Indonesian people, particularly those engaged in palm oil plantations, the president told palm oil growers attending the function.

Indonesia is the world`s largest palm oil producer, he said, adding that palm oil can be used as a raw material to produce soaps, cooking oil, and various products that will have a positive impact on the country`s foreign exchange earnings.

"Until now, palm oil has also been used as a raw material to produce biodiesel," he said.

To participate in the palm oil replanting program, farmers are required to hold land certificates. This means the farmers on whose lands palm oil trees will be planted must hold a certificate, he explained.

To this end, the government has helped palm oil growers secure land certificates without wasting time, he said.

By holding land certificates, palm oil growers will be able to cultivate their land, he said.

Indonesia is now listed as the world`s largest producer of crude palm oil (CPO) and along with Malaysia contributes some 85 percent of the global CPO production. In 2015, Indonesia and Malaysia had each produced 31.28 million tons and 21 million tons of CPO.

Based on the 2010 roadmap for the development of the downstream palm oil industry, Indonesia`s CPO output is projected to reach 40 million tons in 2020. In line with the roadmap, the country`s CPO production is expected to increase by an average of 6.8 percent per year.

To maintain its status as the world`s largest CPO producer, Indonesia needs to expand its palm oil plantations, and above all, rejuvenate its old palm plantations.


Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2017