Palm Oil Farmers Stage Protest before EU Embassy over Deforestation Regulation
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Dozens of palm oil farmers staged a protest rejecting the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) in front of the European Union Embassy Office in Jakarta.
The Indonesian Oil Palm Farmers Association (Apkasindo) head, Gulat Manurung, said the issuance of the regulation on deforestation lowered the price of palm oil at the farmers’ level.
“Yesterday’s fresh fruit bunch (TBS) price was already Rp3,000 and crude palm oil (CPO) price was already Rp14,000. Now, the CPO price is Rp11,800 and TBS price is Rp1,800-Rp2,000,” said Gulat in front of the EU Embassy Office, Jakarta, Wednesday, March 29.
According to him, the EUDR significantly affected the price fall. He considered the regulation as a negative campaign against palm oil, which lures people to refrain from buying them.
If CPO consumers drop, the TBS price at the farmers’ level would also plummet. Gatot underlined that at least 17 million palm oil farmers and workers from Aceh to Papua were affected by the regulation.
“[EU] said that palm oil is not good and destroys forests. Who destroys the forests? Oil palm plantation needs 30 years of replanting, while soy plantation takes three months to be harvested and replanted. Which one causes more damage? Which one gives more negative impacts on the environment?” Gatot asserted.
During the demonstration, Gatot also submitted a petition to the representative of the EU Embassy Stephan Mechati, in which demanding revocation of the regulation, repeal of the ‘high-risk’ label for Indonesia, respect and recognition of Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and other related regulations on palm oil, pledge on no more palm oil discrimination, as well as a written apology to all Indonesian farmers.
The petition was signed by Nahdlatul Ulama’s farmers' group Santri Tani NU chairman Tengku Rusli Ahmad, Apkasindo chairman Gulat Manurung, and other heads of palm oil associations.
AMELIA RAHIMA SARI
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