Wilmar Group's Plasma Farmers Enjoy Benefits of Palm Oil Business, Their Welfare Improved

- 29 August 2023 08:48 WIB
Illustration of plasma farmers of Wilmar Group (Wilmar Group)
Illustration of plasma farmers of Wilmar Group (Wilmar Group)

JAKARTADAILY.ID - Plasma farmers of PT AMP Plantation, one of Wilmar Group's palm oil companies, said they have enjoyed benefits of palm oil business and have their welfare improved.

Maharsal Indra, treasury at a cooperative of plantations of Agro Wira Masang in Agam regency, West Sumatera, said the plasma program initiated by the group since 1997 to provide economic and social assistance to small landholders has helped increasing their income and welfare.

"Flashback to the past, it was hard to own a motorcycle. Now, the farmers already have cars and motorcycles. They can even buy land and secure bank loan. I am seeing many went for minor Umra (minor pilgrimage) and kids have gone to the university," he said.

Palm oil business has been one of the backbone of the economic growth in Agam regency. Many crop planters turned to palm oil nowadays. In the past, the business was considered to offer high risks, due to potential price fluctuation of the commodity.

Indra explained the cooperative has now 2,000 members. They have been granted 810 hectares of land to manage and be cultivated by palm oil crops. They sell the outputs to Wilmar Group.

With good plantation management, they could produce 1.5 tons of fresh fruit bunch of palm oils per hectar per month. This production rate is nearly equavalent to plantation areas managed by large corporations.

Rabuman, the secretary of sekretaris Tompek Tapian Kandih cooperative, also in Agam regency, explained how turning professions from a worker into plasma planters has allowed them to reap benefits.

He said during the 1980-1990s, many of the cooperative members were still employees at a forest concession holder.

Since early 2000, they turned into plasma planters and they admitted that palm oil companies operating in their area have absorbed workers from the local people.

"Currently, 70 percent of employees working at the palm oil companies are supplied by the local community," Rabuman said.

The cooperative is currently managing 512 hectares of plasma plantation. It has 256 members.

The cooperatives has been participating in the replanting scheme using funds from Oil Palm Plantation Support Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS). They have enjoyed more than Rp 8 billion in funding injection from the government agency. 

The cooperative had their peak production, at 2 ton to 2.5 ton per hectare per month.

Production has been declined nowadays as the farmers replanted the palm oil seed for a better results.


Editor: Muhamad Al Azhari


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