Agriculture minister Anton Apriyantono has called for continued development of eco-friendly and sustainable palm oil plantations in view of the good prospects of the palm oil market, Antara reported.
"Palm oil plantations are proven to have played a significant role in the national economy such as in alleviating poverty, reducing unemployment and in regional development," he said in a written address to the 7th national meeting of the Association of Indonesian Palm oil Businessmen (GAPKI) on Thursday.
He said he also believed palm oil plantations helped solve global problems, namely promoting self-sufficiency in food and energy and environmental sustainability.
He admitted oil palm plantation development efforts were currently facing more complicated challenges due to the global financial crisis, which had caused the price of plantation commodities including palm oil to drop.
He urged plantation operators and particularly palm oil producers to increase efficiency so that the commodity could be sold at a minimum production cost, adding that all stakeholders including the governments of producer countries needed to work together.
Examples of cooperation models included implementation of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) concept, RSPO certification of and discussions to meet EU Directives on production standards.