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 Nur Aisha Abd. Wahab
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 Antara News
 Plantation Company prioritizing palm oil, sugar for food independence

Antara News (05/08/2020) - Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Plantation Holding, housing the National Plantation Corporation (PTPN) as its subsidiary, will channel its attention on key commodities -- palm oil and sugar -- to mark commitment to maintaining food independence of the country.

Chairman of the National Plantation Holding Abdul Ghani expounded that the company has in place a strategy to bolster the production of sugar and palm oil commodities by reducing plantation areas for other commodities, including rubber and tea.

"We will cut down the land for rubber and tea and instead expand those for sugar and palm oil. It is part of the role of PTPN, as a state-owned enterprise, in supporting national food independence," he stated during a press conference themed “PTPN Group Sugar to Penetrating Retail Market” held in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Ghani expounded that the company will strengthen the production of sugar by expanding the area of sugarcane plantation, from some 56 thousand hectares to around 80 thousand hectares.

One of the expansion measures will encompass converting the rubber land owned by the subsidiary's land and synergizing with other SOE companies, including Perum Perhutani.

Ghani noted that the company's decision to reduce the area of rubber and tea plantations was based on the rising national sugar demand. Fulfillment of domestic sugar production through the expansion of sugarcane plantation areas is deemed to be an effective means of reducing the country's dependence on sugar imports.

In 2019, PTPN recorded that the national sugar demand had reached some six million tons, comprising three million tons for household consumption and three million tons for the food and beverage industry. In the meantime, domestic sugar production had only reached 2.2 million tons.

On the other hand, the contribution of rubber and tea to the scale of food independence can be substituted with other commodities.

"Rubber is very useful for exports, but if it is related to the realization of national food security, it can be replaced with other crops. In future, PTPN will focus on the two main commodities of sugar and palm oil," Ghani stated.

Ghani noted that the PTPN Group targets sugar production to reach one million tons this year, with a yield of some eight percent.

The production is sourced from PTPN's sugarcane plantations of PTPN II, PTPN VII, PTPN IX, PTPN X, PTPN XI, PTPN XII, and PTPN XIV or the farmers' property this year of around 168 thousand hectares, and sugarcane production is projected to reach 12.2 million tons.

Related news: Family farms vital to food security, in need of support: FAO

Read more at https://en.antaranews.com/news/153618/plantation-company-prioritizing-palm-oil-sugar-for-food-independence

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