Dekopin against foreign involvement in plantation development

Jakarta (Antara News) - The Indonesian Cooperatives Council (Dekopin) rejects foreign investors` involvement in the development of oil palm, castor oil and other plantations in Indonesia to avoid foreign domination of land cultivation in the country.

"Millions of hectares of land have been entrusted to foreign investors, and under the bio-energy program five million ha of land have been offered to foreign investors," Dekopin Chairman Adi Sasono told the press here early this week.

The government`s decision to offer five million ha of land to foreign investors under the bio-energy program must be cancelled, he asserted, adding that entrusting land cultivation to foreign investors will only make the Indonesian people work slaves in their own country.

Millions of hectares of land have directly or indirectly fallen into the hands of foreign investors in the mining, agricultural, plantation and even marine sectors. "Dekopin is against that policy as we don`t want to be placed under the authority of foreign businessmen on the pretext of supporting development and economic growth," he said.

Foreign businessmen may invest in Indonesia, but they must not be allowed to participate in land cultivation, Adi suggested, adding that if people are still unable to build plantations, the government must enable them to cultivate their land.

Dekopin also urged the government to seriously implement the alternative energy development program by minimizing the price of bio-fuel to about 10 percent below the market price of conventional fuel.

Minimizing the price of bio-fuel is required to give an incentive to the people to use and develop bio-fuel, Adi said, adding that the carbon dioxide emission from bio-fuel is quite low, only one third of the emission by diesel oil.(*)
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