The Palm Oil Farmers Society (SPKS) demanded the government revise the policy regarding palm oil plantation distribution funds. According to SPKS Advocacy Center Chairman, Marselinus Andry, the fund has been distributed unequally because it is too partial to large companies.
“Currently, the fund disbursement is very unfair and disadvantages farmers,” said Andry in Jakarta, Tuesday, March 27.
According to SPKS records, the fund of palm oil collected during 2015-2017 reached Rp27.94 trillion. But the distribution of funding the oil palm plantation development was very low and most of the funds were used to subsidize the sale of biodiesel. The amount for the development was about 1 percent or Rp25 million per hectare in 2015-2016, 5 percent in 2017, and 22 percent in 2018.
Marselinus criticized the process in distributing the fund was difficult for the farmers because it went through several levels, ranging from the district, provincial, plantation agencies, and then to the Fund Management Agency of Oil Palm Plantations (BPDP KS). He also reported that many farmers were reluctant to take replanting funds because it was managed via one-stop management.
The scheme put farmers to give up 80 percent of their land to be managed by the company as an avail party. In return, the corporation will carry out the replanting for plasma farmers aged above 20 years old.
The plasma farmer, Marselinus said, is also required to submit ownership certificate of land declaration as a debt assurance that will be handed over to the bank. In a one-stop scheme, the farmer must sell his palm oil production to the corporation at a set price. That means the farmers have to bear the debt plus its interest for 15 years and their land will likely be taken by banks if they cannot pay the debt.
Marselinus stated that his party had filed a judicial review of Government Regulation No. 24/2015 on Plantation Funds Management Article 9 (2). SPKS considered the belied to be formally defective because it is contradictory to Law No. 39 of 2014 on Plantation. The lawsuit was issued by farmers’ associations to the Supreme Court in early February.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Plantation Director General, Bambang, denied that the government did not equally treat the farmers. “This year we are planning to do replanting for 185 thousand hectares of palm oil land,” he said.