Oil palm farm lifts incomes of local growers

- Oct 09, 2018-

An oil palm plantation operated by the Chinese Julong Group in Indonesia's West Kalimantan province has brought more income to workers.

Most of the residents around the plantation in Sintang district work part time to harvest oil palm fruit. The rotating harvest in each of the plantation blocks allows them to earn extra money to supplement what they earn from their own farmland.

"They actually are farmers working their own land around the village. They were eager to make more money by harvesting the oil palm fruit," said Sugianto, chief of Sungai Maram village near the oil palm plantation in Sintang.

Besides the farmers, the plantation helps land owners who plant the oil palm trees in a partnership arrangement that includes attractive offers for their oil palm fruit, he said.

"Basically we have no unemployed people because the plantation will operate here as long as they are willing to work," he added.

Farmers can now buy more household necessities and can pay university tuition fees for their children, he said.

A local couple employed by the plantation said they could save up to 2 million rupiah (about $175) per month compared with almost nothing at their previous workplace in Java.

"Besides saving, we can now also have more family time as we only need to work until the afternoon. We worked around the clock to monitor leaves on a tobacco plantation in East Java province," said Tori, whose wife stood at his side at the Julong Group's plantation.

The couple also encouraged family members and friends in their hometown to work with them.