RI to create 1.5 million hectares of oil palm plantations until 2010

Jakarta (Antara News) - Indonesia plans to develop 1.5 hectares of oil palm plantations until 2010 to increase production to 18 million tons over the next three years, an industry spokesperson said.

The chief of the Indonesian Palm Oil Commission (KMSI), Rosediana Suharto, said here on Wednesday starting this year expansion would begin in stages reaching 1.5 million hectares until 2010 consisting of 1.375 million hectares of new plantations and 125,000 hectares of replanted plantations.

"We will also pay attention to lands that have been certifiied but have not yet been exploited," she said.

Rosediana who is a former senior adviser to the trade minister said the new oil palm plantations would be developed outside Java. She predicted there would be a production hike of 200,000 tons a year following the development of the new plantations.

In the National Industry Roadmap 2010 and Vision 2030 made by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry it is stated in 2005 the width of oil palm plantations in the country only reached 5.2 million hectares with production reaching 13.5 million tons.

With production assumed to grow around six percent a year and land productivity reaching 2.6 tons per hectare, the country`s palm oil production in 2010 is expected to reach 18 million tons and oil-palm fruit pruduction 6.6 million tons.

In 2020 the country`s crude palm oil production is expected to reach 30 million tons and the total width of oil-palm plantatiions 10.7 million hectares and in 2030 the figures will change respectively to 50 million tons and 17.4 million hectares.

Asked if the new oil palm plantations would be developed along the border with Malaysia with investors from China and India Rosediana said "that is merely an exaggerated rumor."

She predicted crude palm oil demand especially from Europe would continue to increase in line with their increasing need for the commodity to produce biofuel.

He said the government planned to develop KMSI into an Indonesian Palm Oil Council with the task of giving advice like what the Indonesia Sugar Council (DGI) was doing. She said its membership would come from the government and private parties.

"The establishment of the Council will be finalized on May 4 with the agriculture minister likely to become its chief while the KMSI will be liquidated into it," she said.(*)
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