Government prepares smallholder rubber plantation rejuvenation scheme

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has prepared the scheme for rejuvenation of smallholder rubber plantation and worked in cooperation with business associations to improve farmers welfare and increase its productivity.

"In this rubber plantation rejuvenation program, the governments main focus, in addition to increasing productivity, is to improve farmers welfare," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said in a meeting here on Thursday.

The meeting to discuss smallholder rubber plantation was attended by representatives of the Indonesia Rubber Association, chairman of the Indonesia Rubber Council Aziz Pane, and other related institutions.

Darmin stated that the government has prepared standard operational procedures (SOP) for rejuvenation of smallholder rubber plantation program.

The program would be supported with adequate supply of certified seeds, land clearing mechanism, private sector involvement scheme, and funding standardization, he added.

The minister also reminded about the importance of land consolidation and fund support, through Cess policy, for rejuvenation of smallholder rubber plantation.

Land consolidation in Indonesia would not only depend on the government but also the support from other parties to reach its goal, Darmin remarked.

Land consolidation has faced several significant problems for its implementation, including farmers? low participation.

Therefore, the government has offered two options, namely the implementation of the concept of Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (FELCRA) and Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme.

The FELCRA concept is aimed at increasing villagers income by providing assistance to manage non-productive or less-productive smallholder plantation, a concept that has been implemented in Malaysia.

The concept is suitable for Indonesia, with many smallholders failing to manage their plantation properly, resulting in low income for them.

Meanwhile, the BOT concept would open the chance for private companies to participate in the development of areas around rubber plantation, a scheme that has been implemented in China.

According to Darmin, the Agency for Plantation Fund Management (BPDP) would serve to manage Cess fund in the rejuvenation program.

The Indonesian Rubber Association has agreed to consistently and continuously run the smallholder rubber plantation rejuvenation program.

Source: ANTARA News

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