Mills are advised to purchase palm fruit bunches at Rp 1,600 per kg

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Bandarlampung, Lampung (ANTARA) – Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan has urged palm processing factories to buy palm fruit bunches from farmers for at least Rp 1,600 per kilogram (kg) to maintain price stability at the smallholder or farmer level.

“We have heard complaints from palm growers in Lampung because the price of their fresh fruit bunches is low,” Hasan told Central Lampung on Saturday.

Therefore, he urged palm or crude palm oil (CPO) processing factories to purchase palm fruit bunches from smallholders for at least Rp 1,600 per kg.

“We are asking mills to buy (palm fruit bunches) at least for Rp 1,600 per kg. There are still mills buying for Rp 1,300 per kg,” he said.

“Sometimes the factory does not buy directly from the farmers, but through the shelter there, where the palm is usually bought for Rp 800 per kg,” the trade minister added.

The decent price should be between Rp 1,600 and Rp 2,000 per kg, Hasan pointed out.

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The issue of appropriate pricing of palm fruit bunches sold by smallholders was voiced by Lampung Regional Chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Growers Association (APKASINDO), Abdul Simanjuntak.

“The average price of oil palm is less than Rp 1,000 per kg or around Rp 700 per kg, so (farmers), to meet daily needs, like buying rice alone, we have to sell 30 kg of palm,” he remarked.

He expressed hope that the price of oil palm bunches purchased from smallholders/farmers would reach Rp2 thousand per kg due to high input costssuch as the price of fertilizers which can reach Rp17 thousand per kg.

“Fertilizer already costs Rp 17,000 per kg, so we have to sell a quintal (100 kg) of palm to be able to buy fertilizer because the price (of palm) is only Rp 700 per kg. We we can no longer afford to send children to school, and I hope the government will address the suffering of the farmers because we believe the government can help the farmers in Lampung,” Simanjuntak said.

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