15 February 2014 , 11:44 WIB | Read : 1308 | By : Administrator

The good story to plant palm oil sometimes turns to worse when the farmers face lots of debts and should be paid. There are lots of bad stories in the farmers. 2008 could be one example. When the price of crude palm oil (CPO) , and fresh fruit increased, many farmers substituted their plantations into palm oil by hoping, they would beluckier. It was a real fact because planting palm oil made New Rich Man in many palm oil regions in this country. Having 2 hectare area, the farmers got Rp 5 to 6 millions at the moment. Unfortunately, the rising price of palm oil made consumptive in the farmers – they bought electronics, expensive cars, built houses, went to Mekkah for several times. The farmers themselves were not reluctant to have debt and made credits to get money. They even asked their family to go to Jakarta or abroad. It was several years ago – when price of the fresh fruit was more than Rp 1.500 per kg.

It is much different now. After the price of CPO fell down in the middle of 2008, many farmers fell apart too. In the end of 2008, the era of new rich man turned into new poor man. Being in the decreasing price, the farmers could not rely on the business to fulfill their daily needs. Not only to get benefits from selling the fruits, to pay the workers cutting off the fruit and clean the plantation, they could not do. They even could not buy the rising price of fertilizer every year. Chairman of Villagers Cooperation, Zulkifli Ritonga, consumerism and extravagance always become the main factors which make the farmers fail to do palm oil plantations. But based on what he knows, the failure is not in the business process but the expensive “behaviour costs” in the farmers themselves. As the result, many farmers have lots of debts which get higher. It even got worse. For example, they sold the plantations where they had earnt their lives and their family needs for such a long time. Such condition also made strange behaviour – going mad, or suicide. Marwanto, one palm oil farmer from Sungai Pagar Village, Kampar Kiri, Kampar District mentioned, the falling price of palm oil made the farmers in his village mad and stress. “Some of us went mad and tried to suicide,” he told. It happened for the farmers could not effort and burden more difficult lives.

There lots of debt should be paid but the selling price was decreasing and he could not pay his credit. Though the price of fresh fruit gets better and stable enough, the farmers should not be consumptive because the uncertain climate and weather could decrease the harvests, productions of palm oil. That is why, it needs good calculation before getting credit to buy expensive goods. Don’t let the credit become boomerang for the farmers.

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