Jun 24, 2010
Indonesia: “International Oil Palm Conference” IOPC in Yogyakarta, 1-3 June 2010
This fourth IOPC was organised by the Indonesian Oil Palm Research Institute (IOPRI), in Bahasa Indonesian known as Pusat Penelitian Kelapa Sawit (PPKS), and was supported by the Government of Indonesia, the Indonesian Oil Palm Board (IPOB/DMSI) and the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA/GAPKI). The Jogja Expo Center at Yogyakarta was chosen as venue.
The IOPC consisted of conference seminars including plenary lectures (8 lectures) and special sessions focussing on various aspects relevant to the oil palm industry, namely Agriculture (18 papers), Product Development and Process Technology (22 papers), Environmental and Social Economics (15 papers). Eighty-one posters were also presented. IOPC also featured an exhibition, were a number of companies involved in breeding, fertiliser provision, processing and refinery displayed their products and invited customers to exchange views on future developments and requirements.
Our major partner in Indonesia, Pt. Meroke Tetap Jaya, installed an attractive booth that featured prominently K+S KALI products near the central stage. Technical and sales staff of Pt. Meroke Tetap Jaya provided up-to-date information on products and market issues, and 320 participants entered their contact details in the guest book.
The theme of this IOPC was ‘transforming oil palm industry’. With Indonesia being the largest producer of crude palm oil (CPO) globally cultivating oil palm on more than 7 Mio ha, the industry as a whole nonetheless needs to adjust to a changing world and economic constraints. Improvements are crucial along all stages of the supply chain. Correspondingly, individual sessions highlighted progress and challenges in breeding, Ganoderma resistance, best management practises, greenhouse gas emission and impact on global warming from oil palm cultivated on peat and other agro-ecosystems, biofuel and biogas as sources of energy, life cycle assessment, and product diversification and safety.
Together with the members of the organising bodies, the conference allowed all representatives of major stakeholders of the palm oil industry to interact and exchange their views not only on the primary theme of this year’s conference. Indeed, IOPRI took an initiative to promote collaboration and networking among the R&D players in the country.
In order to steer the oil palm industry toward the production of sustainable palm oil, the IOPC 2010 presented new findings and the latest research results in line with the theme of ‘Transforming Oil Palm Industry’. In particular, it was pleasing to notice that during the entire IOPC an open-minded attitude toward issues like greenhouse gas emissions and impact of oil palm cultivation on global warming predominated, much to the contrary of last year’s PIPOC in Kuala Lumpur, where representatives of the industry and governmental bodies continued to demand European governments to ban publication of pertinent reports by NGOs. Such a request indicates a misconception of democratic culture and is only going to isolate the industry globally.
The unbiased approach observed during the IOPC 2010 will serve the industry much better in the long run. For example, Dr. L. Melling presented part of her internationally recognised studies on tropical peat soils used for oil palm cultivation. She stressed that tropical peat behaves substantially different to temperate peat, and hence conclusions drawn from the latter ones do not apply. In fact, greenhouse gas emissions are much lower than anticipated previously. Nonetheless, the Government of Indonesia released a moratorium to postpone the development of new oil palm plantations on peat and natural forest, in the next two years.
Concerning the environment and social economics the Indonesian government promotes the implementation of Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO, to be implemented in January 2011), which will be mandatory as the Government Standard for the Indonesian Palm Oil Industry.
The IOPC 2010 has been a really successful event, and the products of K+S KALI GmbH were displayed prominently by Pt. Meroke Tetap Jaya.