TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Chairman of the Palm Oil Farmers Association (Apkasindo) Gulat Manurung responded to the desire of the regents of oil palm producing areas to collect Rp. 25 per kilogram of farmers’ crops. Gulat said 17 million oil palm farmers were saddened to hear the information because it was released at the wrong time.
“This information is very heartbreaking for us oil palm farmers. We are sad, 17 million oil palm farmers are sad,” he said when contacted, Thursday night, July 7, 2022.
The request from the regional heads was previously conveyed by the Association of Palm Oil Producers (AKPSI) in a coordination meeting with the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan yesterday. The meeting was also attended by the Head of the State Audit and Development Agency (BPKP) Muhammad Yusuf Ateh.
At that time, AKPSI chairman Yulhaidir asked the central government to allow the district government to collect levies on oil palm farmers’ harvests. He proposed that the central government make regulations so that every kilogram of harvest can be collected to boost local revenue (PAD).
In response to the request, Gulat said, regents as regional leaders should think about the fate of their people. With this request, AKPSI is considered insensitive to the condition of farmers who are currently still at a loss due to the falling price of fresh fruit bunches (FFB). He also questioned how the regents still have the desire to collect the price of FFB when the farmers are in trouble.
“Because the regents sit in the association, the regents still think like that when the people are crying, when the people are in trouble, how come they even took the time to collect 25 silver from the price of FFB farmers,” he said.