Serdang Bedagai, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The government has initiated a program to rejuvenate palm oil plantations in North Sumatra spread across 9,109.29 hectares in 12 districts.

Serdang Bedagai, Langkat, South Labuhan Batu, Labuhan Batu, Asahan, Batubara, Simalungun, North Labuhan Batu, North Padan Lawas, Padang Lawas, Deli Serdang, and Central Tapanuli are the districts outlined for the implementation of the program.

"The province has a total of 470 thousand hectares of palm oil plantations, of which at least 350 thousand hectares need to be rejuvenated. Despite the wide area, we should rejuvenate the trees to increase their productivity," President Joko Widodo noted in his speech in Dolok Masihul Sub-district of Serdang Bedagai District, North Sumatra, on Monday.

Widodo said the trees aged between 25 and 30 years were not productive and should be rejuvenated.

The government, through the People`s Palm Oil Replanting Program, is providing funds to farmers to conduct replanting activities in their palm oil plantations.

"Palm oil is the green gold of our country, as Indonesia is one of the biggest producers of palm oil not only in Asia or South Asia but also globally," the president noted.

He said Indonesia also produces raw materials needed to manufacture soaps, cosmetics, margarine, cooking oil, and pharmaceuticals.

Palm oil is also one of the raw materials for producing biodiesel fuel used in vehicles.

Widodo remarked that Indonesia is aiming to become the producer of palm oil derivative products.

"The industrial management of palm oil should be improved. We should boost ways to manage, preserve, and replant the fields," Widodo noted.

Besides this, the government had rejuvenated palm oil fields in South Sumatra Province that are located in Musi Banyuasin District, spanning 4,100 hectares, in last October.

The total area of palm oil plantations in Indonesia reaches 11.9 million hectares, of which at least 4.6 million hectares belong to the private sector.

Palm oil trees to be rejuvenated are aged over 25 years and produce less than 10 tons of palm oil fruits per year.

Reported by Desca Lidya N

Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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