Moscow, Aug 3 (ANTARA News) - Indonesia appreciates Russian offering market access to palm oil and cooperation in coping with black campaigns against Indonesian palm oil products, Secretary of the Directorate General for America and Europe Ratu Silvy Gayatri has said.
Ratu was addressing a palm oil discussion as a key speaker in a Russian-Indonesian Business Forum which preceded an Indonesian Festival held at the Indonesian embassy here from Aug 2 to 5.
The discussion with a theme High Quality Indonesian Palm Oil: Application And Current Issues, is to be addressed also by Sahat M Sinaga from the Indonesia Palm Oil Board, Joko Supriyono from the Indonesian Palm Oil Association and Darmono Taniwiyono from the Indonesia Palm Oil Society .
Ratu explained the palm oil policy of the Indonesian government, saying palm oil is major commodity contributing greatly to the country`s economic development as it directly concerns the livelihood of 2.3 million of Indonesian farm families.
Palm oil sector contributes significantly to efforts to eradicate poverty and provides 4.2 million jobs, she added.
"For that reason, the Indonesian government and business sector highly value cooperation with Russia in the palm oil sector," Ratu said.
As the world`s largest producer of palm oil, Indonesia is interested in promoting the commodity. The government, therefore, has taken a series of steps to sustain palm oil industry which has been confronted with environmental challenges, she added.
General chairman of the Indonesian Federation of Palm Oil Companies (GAPKI) Joko Supriyono said Indonesia needs for its own interest to keep sustainable production of palm oil.
He said Indonesia has continued efforts to develop its palm oil industry to meet the standard of Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO).
Palm oil trade between Indonesia and Russia has been on the rising trend but lately it was declining. The forum is expected to provide information about Indonesian palm oil that could bring about closer cooperation between Indonesia and Russia.
Meanwhile, Edi Wibowo from the Management Body of Oil Palm Plantation Fund (BPDPKS) said small farmers play an important role in palm oil industry.
Edi said the palm oil sector had saved more than 10 million people from falling to poverty and expansion of the palm oil sector has lifted at least 1.3 million people from below the poverty line.
The Indonesian Government, therefore, is determined to secure and maintain the economic, social and environmental gains from development of the palm oil industry with a series of policies and regulations, he said.
The Indonesian Government is set to create balance between economic development and environmental preservation - not development at the expense of the other, he said.
Indonesia has a extensive training program on Good Farming Practice in 18 provinces focusing on increasing the productivity of existing lands to avoid expansion of plantations .
Edi said President Joko Widodo has also launched extensive replanting program for farmers` oil palm plantations hoping to improve productivity and strengthen their competitiveness.
The government has given small farmers legal status for their lands. The productivity of small farmers has improved significantly with production of up to 6 tons of palm oil per hectare . They also have used new generation factory, Edi Wibowo said.
The European Union Parliament has passed a resolution accusing Indonesian oil palm plantation companies of destroying the country`s tropical forest, and called for boycott of Indonesian palm oil products.
The Indonesian government has strongly denied the resolution of environmental activists. (AG) ** (AS)
(T.SYS/A/H-ASG/A/E002) 03-08-2018 08:38:19