Palm Growers Union making a study on 100 plantation companies in Sumatra and Kalimantan showed only 23% of them were engaged in partnership with farmers and yet partnership was an obligation. Mansuetus Darto, SPKS Coordinator made the statement on Friday (31/7).
In East Kalimantan, report from the local Parliament had it that of 350 plantation companies operating there only 10% were cultivating plasma plantations, while auditing run on 304 companies unveiled that around 180 companies had not plasma plantations.
Even companies who had built plasma plantations were not without problem. Many plantations given to farmers were below standard and the credit repayment borne by farmers was high. The result was that 578 fractions broke out between plasma cooperatives and core company. Conflicts caused cooperatives to refuse to pay credit installment causing NPL.
And yet without partnership farmers had limitations of access to credit, production facilities and technological know how.
According to the Law of Plantation it was mandatory for every company to allocate 20% of total land for plasma. The area was beyond concession. The people’s plantation was to be built in 3 years after the company operated.
Development of credit for the people could be done on the basis of credit. Profit sharing, or other platforms. Plantation companies must manage 30% of their concession area in 3 years and the concession area must be 100% managed in 6 years.
“By this platform farmers would have to wait for long before the result was seen. Seven to ten years might be needed before people’s plantation was integrated with company’s gardens”
Farmer’s independence must be respected. Farmers must have transparent access to credit resources so the amount of credit would be right. They must not pay for credit at the amount for first grade plantation but receive second grade plantation. Farmers must be involved in evaluation of plantation.
Farmers must not be passive in partnership system. “They must fully involved in increasing production from the every start”.
Before 1990 plasma farmers owned 2 ha of land on the average, but after 1990 on line with scarity of land, ownership over land was reduced to above 1 ha but below 2 ha. “And yet 2 ha was not enough for living a decent life. At least 4 ha was needed,”
Now it was time for plasma farmers to rejuvenate their plantations. Now was the time to change partnership platform. “The introduction of Palm Management Board was a breeze of hope in terms of financing.” (SS)
Business New - August 5, 2015