Gov't should consider extending palm oil moratorium: SPOS Indonesia

Gov't should consider extending palm oil moratorium: SPOS Indonesia

Palm oil plantations in West Kalimantan. (ANTARA/Dedi/FR)

We still need an extension to the moratorium
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government should consider extending the palm oil moratorium policy to address problems regarding management of the commodity, Director of Strengthening Palm Oil Sustainability in Indonesia (SPOS Indonesia) Program Irfan Bakhtiar stated.

"We still need an extension to the moratorium. If it is not extended, then the nation and farmers will be the ones experiencing losses," Bakhtiar noted in a press statement here on Friday.

The program director pointed to several persistent problems surrounding palm oil plantations in the forest area.

As an example, Bakhtiar cited that out of the 3.4 million hectares of palm oil in the forest region, records made public showed that only 600 thousand hectares of corporation plantations were issued for release.

To this date, no action was taken against any violation that occurred, he added.

Moreover, information was yet lacking on the number of people's palm oil plantations identified in the forest area.

"The resolution step through the agrarian reform was also not yet conducted. Data recording of palm oil plantations, primarily the people's plantations, was not yet well-consolidated among government institutions," Bakhtiar noted.

From the production standpoint, efforts to boost productivity were still far from ideal since new palm oil cultivations that had been realized were less than 63 thousand hectares, he noted.

President Instruction (Inpres) No. 8 of 2018 on the Delay and Evaluation of Palm Oil Licensing, known as the palm oil moratorium, was signed by President Joko Widodo on September 19, 2018.

After the Inpres ended on September 19, 2021, the government has not yet decided whether to discontinue or to extend the moratorium.

Chairman of Indonesia's Palm Oil Forum Association (POPSI) Pahala Sibuea supports the extension of the palm oil moratorium since it was deemed beneficial to improve partnership with palm oil farmers.

Sibuea pointed out that the moratorium increased the income of palm oil farmers because ever since the moratorium was implemented, supply and demand became balanced that helped to control the high prices.

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