Workers sort out oil palm bunches before processing them at a factory in Dengkil, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on November 4, 2009. Malaysia is the worlds second-largest exporter of palm oil after Indonesia, and the industry is the countrys third largest export earner, raking in 65.2 billion ringgit (19 billion USD) in 2008.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Indonesia’s crude palm oil (CPO) output is projected to reach 40 million tons in the next 10 years, former agriculture minister Bungaran Saragih said.
The target could be achieved if the government focused on increasing the productivity of oil palm plantations, he said at an international conference & exhibition on palm oil (ICE-PO) at the Jakarta Convention Center on Wednesday.
"Today the area of land is limited so it is impossible to expand oil palm plantations. What we can do to raise production is increasing the productivity of oil palm plantations," he said.
The productivity of oil palm plantation currently reached 3 tons per hectare and the national CPO output stood at 22-23 million tons per year. To reach CPO production of 40 million tons a year, the productivity of oil palm plantation must be raised to 6 tons from 3 tons per hectare, he said.
He put the blame on poor cultivation for the low productivity of the country’s oil palm plantations. Meanwhile, Chief of the Indonesian Plantation Businessmen Association (GPPI) Soedjai Kartasasmita predicted that the palm oil industry would have bright prospects in the future.
In the next five years the global population would increase, leading to a rise in food demand particularly vegetable oil, he said. "The increase in the use of bio-fuels will increase CPO demand."