Another two local oil palm plantation companies - PT London Sumatra Plantation and PT Hindoli - have secured environmental certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
This means three of the 10 major palm oil producers in the country have now received the RSPO stamp of approval.
Nine of the firms hold concessions extending to more than 2.9 million hectares around the country. PT Musim Mas was the first plantation company in Indonesia to receive an RSPO certificate in February 2009.
According to the RSPO, which was established in 2004 by palm-oil producers, processors, traders and other industry players, certification represents a seal of environmental approval and reflects sustainable palm oil production.
“Besides the three companies, there are a number of others that are also on the waiting list for RSPO certification,” Achmad Mangga Barani, the Ministry of Agriculture’s director general of plantations, said at a media conference on Wednesday in Jakarta. “We are hoping that 10 companies will have RSPO certificates by the end of the year.”
Among those on the waiting list are PT Perkebunan Nusantara III and PT Sinar Mas, with their certification processes expected to be completed by June and September, respectively.
Apart from encouraging more plantation companies to secure RSPO certificates, the government also plans to boost research and development so as to increase output.
“We will build an R&D center in Sijunjung, West Sumatra, to gather genetic resources from oil palms,” Minister of Agriculture Anton Apriyantono said at the media conference. He acknowledged that Indonesia to date only invested a paltry Rp 3 billion ($288,000) a year on average on palm-sector research.