Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Palm Oil Plantation Project

Millions of hectares of forest on Borneo are at risk if the government proceeds with a plan to open the world's largest palm oil plantation on the island, environmental activists said.

""This plan endangers many crucial areas: the forests, the rivers and especially, the rich biodiversity in Kalimantan's forest,"" said Purwo Susanto, World Wide Fund for Nature's (WWF) official for conservation initiatives in Kalimantan during a recent media trip to West Kalimantan.

Purwo said that as oil palm plantation companies used a clear-cut system to clear land, all trees in the designated areas would have to be cut down to allow the firms to carry out the plantation process. Such methods are accelerating the deforestation problem in this country.

Kalimantan, also known as Borneo, is the third largest island on the planet after Greenland and New Guinea, and it has a vast area of tropical rainforest, which is home to several near-extinct species, such as orangutans.

According to WWF data, Kalimantan, which has 27 million hectares of forests, has suffered from serious deforestation; at a rate of 1.2 million hectares annually, while the World Bank predicts that by 2010, all of Kalimantan's lowland forests will disappear if nothing is done to curb deforestation, which is mostly caused by illegal logging and shifting cultivation.

The government has announced a plan to set up one of the largest oil palm plantations in the world, as a follow-up to an agreement signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and China's Prime Minister Hu Jintao in an effort to boost trade and investment activities between the two countries.

The proposed scheme, to be funded by China, is expected to cover an area of 1.8 million hectares along the 850-kilometer Indonesia-Malaysia border in the northern areas of West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan provinces.

A document made available to The Jakarta Post showed that a consortium of state-owned plantation firms, PTPN I to PTPN XIV, proposes a 1-million hectare area in West Kalimantan and another 800,000 in East Kalimantan for the planned plantations.

It also says that the scheme is estimated to attract Rp 85.14 trillion (US$8.50 billion) worth of foreign investments and would provide jobs for 182,700 people.

However, the proposed plantation areas runs through two protected areas -- Betung Kerihun National Park in West Kalimantan and Kayan Mentarang National Park in East Kalimantan, which are home to some of Kalimantan's 44 endemic mammals and over 300 new-found species, as well as home for thousands of other rare species of plants.

According to the proposal, the area in West Kalimantan covers six regencies -- Sambas, Bengkayang, Sanggau, Landak, Sintang and Kapuas Hulu -- and three regencies in East Kalimantan -- Kutai Barat, Malinau and Nunukan.

""Most of the proposed area is mountainous region that holds huge tracts of forests where 14 of the 20 major rivers in Kalimantan originate from. If the trees there are gone, it would surely threaten the lives of animals in the lower area,"" Purwo said.

When asked about the plan, deputy regent of Kapuas Hulu regency, Yoseph Alexander, said his administration was still studying whether the proposed project would benefit his people and the local environment.

""Up to now, there hasn't been any formal discussion with the government, but we are analyzing whether the scheme is suitable as seven districts in our area are located 500 meters above sea level,"" he said, adding that oil palm trees might not produce well in such highland regions.

A study carried out last year by the Bogor-based Center for International Forestry Research, concluded that the 200 sites in Kalimantan were not suitable for the cultivation of palm oil or other major cash crops, such as pepper and coffee.

""As much as we want the government to develop the border area, we care more about conserving it. Moreover, we have declared our region a conservation regency since 2003, so we have to defend that status,"" Yoseph said.

Farmers and fishermen in the border area said they opposed the plans because it would threaten the local rivers, sources of their livelihood.

""Establishing these plantations will endanger our rivers. Fertilizer used to grow the palm trees will contaminate the rivers and the lakes.""

""Moreover, the border area is a water buffer zone, which is vital for the whole of Kalimantan,"" said Hermanus Riyanto, head of Labian Village, Kapuas Hulu regency, who catches fish for daily consumption.

Secretary-General of the Indigenous People's Alliance of West Kalimantan Mina Susana Setra said that local people and NGOs opposed the idea because the government did not involve the locals in the decision-making process.

""Oil palm plantations have also changed the life of the local people, the Dayaks. Learning from experience, after the plantations were set up, the Dayaks were inundated with consumerism, alcohol, gambling and prostitution. The government never calculated these affects in their economic calculation,"" she said at a discussion with the media in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

A spokesperson for the West Kalimantan branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Yohannes R. Jemeli said that Walhi would launch a campaign to push the government to drop the planned project through national and international lobbying.

""Among other things, we will inform people of the danger of these plantations on the border area as well as lobbying European countries to refuse any kind of loans that will be used to invest in the planned plantation project,""

Palm Oil Effects

Environmental group Greenpeace has echoed calls by consumer goods giant Unilever to impose a moratorium on deforestation in Indonesia in support for the company's pledge to purchase only certified sustainable palm oil.

Greenpeace also urged the country's palm oil plantations to use sustainable forest management methods and stop expanding into peatland forests.

"Unilever's calls for a moratorium on forest destruction in Indonesia should become an entry point for the government to stop the deforestation process," Greenpeace Southeast Asia political advisor Arif Wicaksono told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

"The government has to take action to reverse deforestation by initiating a moratorium on logging and forest conversion."

Unilever has committed to using only palm oil from certified sustainable sources from the second half of this year.

The company said it would ensure the palm oil it used in Europe was also certified as sustainable by 2012.

"Now we need to take the next step," Unilever chief executive Patrick Cescau said in a statement in London on Thursday.

"Suppliers need to move to meet the criteria, by getting certified both the palm oil from their own plantations and the palm oil they buy from elsewhere."

Unilever is the world's biggest consumer of palm oil, which it uses in leading brands such as Dove, Persil and Flora.

The company's decision came after a Greenpeace campaign revealed Unilever's suppliers are actively destroying orangutan habitat and clearing Indonesia's peatlands and rain forests.

According to Greenpeace, destruction of peatland rain forests contributes 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions are considered the main contributor to climate change.

The environmental group also said about 1,600 orangutans were killed on palm oil plantations during 2006.

Arif said companies using palm oil and members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) should join forces with Unilever to stop ongoing forest destruction in Indonesia.

The RSPO is an initiative of an association of palm oil producers to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil.

"Even though the RSPO has existed since 2002, there is still no certified palm oil on the market," Greenpeace said.

Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono ordered governors to stop awarding new permits for the palm oil industry in peatlands last year. The order was issued as Indonesia hosted the climate change conference in Bali, which directed all countries to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

A 2006 report from Wetlands International found damage to Indonesia's peatlands resulted in 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, making the country the world's third largest emitter after the United States and China.

"But we have seen no changes since the minister's order. Many regents still grant permits to dig in peatland forests," Arif said.

"Greenpeace is not calling for an end to the palm oil industry but it is calling for an end to forest destruction."

Monday, June 2, 2008

History of Margarine

History of Margarine

Although it has been around for over a century, margarine was not always the preferred tablespread in the U.S. In 1930, per capita consumption of margarine was only 2.6 pounds (vs. 17.6 pounds of butter). Times have changed for the better, though. Today, per capita consumption of margarine in the U.S. is 8.3 pounds (including vegetable oil spreads) whereas butter consumption is down to about 4.2 pounds. Research studies have shown that the shift within populations around the world - from the highly saturated fat content of butter to vegetable oil-based margarines - have contributed significantly to the reduced risk of heart disease. Check out the timeline below to learn more about the history or margarine.


Margarine was created by a Frenchman from Provence, France -- Hippolyte Mège-Mouriez -- in response to an offer by the Emperor Louis Napoleon III for the production of a satisfactory substitute for butter. To formulate his entry, Mège-Mouriez used margaric acid, a fatty acid component isolated in 1813 by Michael Chevreul and named because of the lustrous pearly drops that reminded him of the Greek word for pearl -- margarites. From this word, Mège-Mouriez coined the name margarine for his invention that claimed the Emperor’s prize.


An American patent was granted to Mège-Mouriez who intended to expand his French margarine factory and production to the United States. While demand for margarine was strong in northern Europe and the potential equally as promising in the U.S., Mège-Mouriez’s operations nevertheless failed and he died obscurely.


Unilever began manufacturing margarine in Europe.


The U. S. Dairy Company in New York City began production of “artificial butter.”


State laws requiring identification of margarine were passed in New York and Maryland as the dairy industry began to feel the impact of this rapidly growing product


Improvements to Mège-Mouriez’s formulation were made; U.S. Dairy created a subsidiary, the Commercial Manufacturing Company, to produce several million pounds annually of this new product.


When a court voided a ban on margarine in New York, dairy militants turned their attention to Washington, resulting in Congressional passage of the Margarine Act of 1886. The Act imposed a tax of two cents per pound on margarine and required expensive licenses for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of margarine. President Grover Cleveland, from the dairy state of New York, signed the law, describing it as a revenue measure. However, the 1886 law failed to slow the sale of margarine principally because it did not require identification of margarine at the point of sale and margarine adversaries turned their attention back to the states.


More than 30 manufacturing facilities were reported to be engaged in the production of margarine. Among them were Armour and Company of Chicago and Lever Brothers of New York. Seventeen states required the product to be specifically identified as margarine. Various state laws to control margarine were passed in a number of states, but were not enforced. Later that year, New York and New Jersey prohibited the manufacture and sale of yellow-colored margarine.


32 states and 80% of the U.S. population lived under margarine color bans. While the Supreme Court upheld such bans, it did strike down forced coloration (pink) which had begun in an effort to get around the ban on yellow coloring. During this period coloring in the home began, with purveyors providing capsules of food coloring to be kneaded into the margarine. This practice continued through World War II.


Amendments to the Federal Margarine Act raised the tax on colored margarine five-fold, but decreased licensing fees for white margarine. But demand for colored margarine remained so strong, that bootleg colored margarine flourished.


Margarine production suffered and consumption dropped from 120 million pounds in 1902 to 48 million.


Intense pressure by competitors to keep prices low and new product innovations, as well as dairy price increases, returned production levels of margarine back to 130 million pounds. The Federal tax remained despite many efforts to repeal it, but consumption grew gradually in spite of it.


With America’s entry into World War I, the country began to experience a fat shortage and a sharp increase in the cost of living, both factors in driving margarine consumption to an annual per capita level of 3.5 pounds.


The Margarine Act was again amended to place the Federal tax on naturally-colored (darkened with the use of palm oil) as well as artificially-colored margarine. During the Depression dairy interests again prevailed upon the states to enact legislation equalizing butter and margarine prices. Consumers reacted and consumption of margarine dropped to an annual per capita level of 1.6 pounds.


Besides Federal taxes and licenses, 27 states prohibited the manufacture or sale of colored margarine, 24 imposed some kind of consumer tax and 26 required licenses or otherwise restricted margarine sales. The Army, Navy and other Federal agencies were barred from using margarine for other than cooking purposes.


Through production innovations, advertising and improved packaging, margarine consumption regained lost ground. A Federal standard was established recognizing margarine as a spread of its own kind. With raised awareness of margarine’s health benefits from a 1941 National Nutrition Conference, consumers began to take notice of restrictions on margarine that were keeping the product from them and artificially inflating the price.


State taxes on margarine were repealed in Oklahoma. The courts removed color barriers in other states shortly after World War II.


Residual war shortages of butter sent it to a dollar a pound and Margarine Act repeal legislation was offered from many politicians.


Some of the more popular brands prior up until now were Cloverbloom, Mayflower, Mazola, Nucoa, Blue Plate, Mrs. Filbert’s, Parkay, Imperial, Good Luck, Nu-Maid, Farmbelle, Shedd’s Safflower, Churngold, Blue Bonnet, Fleischmann’s, Sunnyland and Table Maid.


Margarine taxes and restrictions became the talk of the country. Finally, following a significant effort by the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers, President Truman signed the Margarine Act of 1950 on March 23 of that year.


The Federal margarine tax system came to an end. Pre-colored margarine was enjoyed by a consumer also pleased with lower prices. Consumption almost doubled in the next twenty years. State color bans, taxes, licenses and other restrictions began to fall.


The first tub margarine and vegetable oil spreads were introduced to the American public


Wisconsin became the last state to repeal restrictions on margarine.


A bill introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield would signal an end to the last piece of legislation that adversely affects the sale of margarine. Currently, federal law prohibits the retail sale of margarine in packages larger than one pound, as well as detailed requirements regarding the size and types of labeling of margarine and a color requirement. This new legislation would remove these restrictions from the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Rep. Whitfield’s bill, the Margarine Equity Act, is part of HR 3200, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reform package and addresses dated requirements that are not applicable to the marketplace.


125th anniversary of the U.S. patent for margarine


Biofuels and bioproducts

Biofuels and bioproducts
Palm oil, like other vegetable oils, can be used to create biodiesel for internal combustion engines. Biodiesel has been promoted as a form of biomass that can be used as a renewable energy source to reduce net emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Therefore, biodiesel is seen as a way to decrease the impact of the greenhouse effect and as a way of diversifying energy supplies to assist national energy security plans. Scientists have found that biodiesel made from palm oil grown on sustainable non-forest land and from established plantations can effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, NGOs such as Greenpeace have concluded that the current "first generation" biodiesel extracted from new palm oil plantations may not be a genuine counter to global warming. If forests are cleared for palm plantations, and the wood is not used for bioenergy but burned, it may take decades before biodiesel from palm oil reduces as much carbon dioxide as the pristine forests originally sequestered in the form of carbon. However, if the wood is used for the production of bioenergy, the palm plantations as well as the biodiesel from palm oil starts to sequester and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the first year onwards.

Although palm oil has a comparatively high yield, the problems that organisations such as Greenpeace have linked to palm cultivation on newly-cleared plantations have encouraged research into alternative vegetable fuel oil sources with less potential for environmental damage, such as jatropha. Although palm requires less manual labor to harvest a given amount of oil than jatropha, the latter grows well in more marginal areas and requires less water.

Other scientists and companies are going beyond merely using the oil from oil palm trees, and are proposing to convert the entire biomass harvested from a palm plantation into renewable electricity, cellulosic ethanol, biogas, biohydrogen and bioplastic. Thus, by using both the biomass from the plantation as well as the processing residues from palm oil production (fibers, kernel shells, palm oil mill effluent), bioenergy from palm plantations can have an effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of these production techniques have been registered as projects under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism.

By using all the biomass residues from palm oil processing for renewable energy, fuels and biodegradable products, both the energy balance and the greenhouse gas emissions balance for biodiesel from palm oil is improved. For each tonne of crude palm oil (CPO) produced from fresh fruit bunches, the following residues, which can all be used for the manufacture of biofuels, bioenergy and bioproducts, become available: around 6 tonnes of waste palm fronds, 1 ton of palm trunks, 5 tons of empty fruit bunches (EFB), 1 ton of press fiber (from the mesocarp of the fruit), half a ton of palm kernel endocarp, 250kg of palm kernel press cake, and 100 tonnes of palm oil mill effluent (POME). In short, a palm plantation has the potential to yield a very large amount of biomass that can be used for the production of renewable products.

However, regardless of these new innovations, first generation biodiesel production from palm oil is still in demand globally and will continue to increase. Palm oil is also a primary substitute for rapeseed oil in Europe, which too is experiencing high levels of demand for biodiesel purposes. Palm oil producers are investing heavily in the refineries needed for biodiesel. In Malaysia companies have been merging, buying others out and forming alliances in order to obtain the economies of scale needed to handle the high costs caused by increased feedstock prices. New refineries are being built across Asia and Europe

Palm oil is a very common cooking ingredient in the regions where it is produced. Its heavy use in the commercial food industry elsewhere can be explained by its comparatively low price, being one of the cheaper vegetable or cooking oils on the market, and by new markets in the USA, stimulated by a search for alternatives to trans fats after the Food and Drug Administration required food labels to list the amount of trans fat per serving. Identifying the exact source of an oil can be complicated by labelling, as palm oil is often described on food labels simply as "vegetable oil".

Red palm oil is known to be healthier than refined (discolored) palm oil. This is a result of several mitigating substances found in the red palm oil. These compounds are:

  • betacarotenes (present in higher amounts than in regular palm oil)
  • co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinone)
  • squalene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
Palm oil is applied to wounds, just like iodine tincture, to aid the healing process. This is not just done for its oily qualities; like coconut oil, unrefined palm oil is supposed to have additional antimicrobial effects, but research does not clearly confirm this

Blood cholesterol controversy
The palm oil industry emphasizes that palm oil contains large quantities of oleic acid, the healthful fatty acid also found in olive and canola oil, and claims that palmitic acid also affects cholesterol levels much like oleic acid. Many health authorities counter that palm oil promotes heart disease, citing research and metastudies that go back to 1970.

For many years now, it has been established that the primary cholesterol-elevating fatty acids are the saturated fatty acids with 12 (lauric acid), 14 (myristic acid) and 16 (palmitic acid) carbon atoms with a concomitant increase in the risk of coronary heart disease. Monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid is as effective in reducing serum total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels as polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linoleic acid. The World Health Organization in its report states there is convincing evidence that palmitic oil consumption contributes to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Research in the US and Europe support the WHO report.

In a response to the WHO report, the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council has argued that there is insufficient scientific evidence to produce general guidelines for worldwide consumption of palm oil and cited research a study in China comparing palm, soybean, peanut oils and lard (all of which contain saturated fat) showing that palm oil increased the levels of good cholesterol and reduced the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, and that palm is a better solid fat to use in products where trans fats would otherwise be chosen.

An older study by Hornstra in 1990 also supported the claims of the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council. A study by the Departments of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science and Medicine, University of Alberta showed palmitic acid to have no hypercholesterolaemic effect if intake of linoleic acid was greater than 4.5% of energy, but that if the diet contained trans fatty acids, LDL cholesterol increases and HDL cholesterol decreases.

The studies supporting the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council only addressed the issue of the effect of palm oil on blood cholesterol levels and not its total effect regarding cardiovascular diseases

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Palm Oil Food Product

About 90% of the palm oil produced finds its way into food products, with industrial uses accounting for the remaining 10%. Palm oils are used in a wide variety of foods, primarily margarine, shortening, and vegetable cooking oil. Palm oil is used as a replacement for cocoa butter and butter fat, and in ice cream and mayonnaise. It is stable at the temperatures used in deep frying, and is used quite often for fried foods. Per capita consumption of palm oil specifically is unknown, but Americans consumed 84.7 lbs of fats and oils in 2004. About 45% of this is margarine and shortening, two major products containing palm oil.

Dietary value, per 100 gram edible portion
* Percent of recommended daily allowance set by FDA, assuming a 154 lb male adult, 2700 calories per day.

Harvest, Postharvest Handling Oil Palm

As fruit ripen, they change from black (or green in virescens types) to orange, but have varying degrees of black cheek color depending on light exposure and cultivar. However, fruit abscission is the best index of bunch ripeness.

Harvest Method
Fruit bunches are harvested using chisels or hooked knives attached to long poles. Each tree must be visited every 10-15 days as bunches ripen throughout the year.

Postharvest Handling
Oil extraction is a complex process, carried out by large mills that may process up to 60 tons of fruit per hour, or by small scale mills in rural villages that produce only about 1 ton of oil in an 8 hour shift. Oil extraction from fruit follows the same basic steps in either case:

  1. Steam sterilization of bunches (inactivates lipase enzymes and kills microorganisms that produce free fatty acids, reducing oil quality)
  2. Stripping fruit from bunches
  3. Crushing, digestion, and heating of the fruit
  4. Oil extraction from macerated fruit (hydraulic pressing)
  5. Palm oil clarification
  6. Separating fiber from the endocarp
  7. Drying, grading, and cracking of the endocarp
  8. Separating the endocarp from the kernel
  9. Kernel drying and packing
The product of step 5 is termed crude palm oil, which must be refined to remove pigments, free fatty acids, and phospholipids, and to deodorize it. The final product, termed "refined, bleached, deodorized" palm oil is produced.

Bunches are first steam sterilized in large tanks to inactivate enzymes

Palm oil processing. Bunches are transported to the mill and weighed

Palm oil is stored in large steel tanks at 88-105°F to keep it in liquid form during bulk transport. The tank headspace is often flushed with CO2 to prevent oxidation. Higher temperatures are used during filling and draining tanks. Maximum storage time is about 6 months at 88°F.

General Culture Oil Palm

Soils and Climate
Soil - wide range of soil types, provided good drainage and pH between 4 and 7; tolerates periodic flooding or a high water table; many soils are alluvial in nature. Irrigation is generally not practiced.

Climate - hot, wet tropical lowlands, major production regions receive at least 6 ft of rain per year, evenly distributed, with at least 4" per month if a short dry season exists; optimal temperatures are in the 80s-90s °F, with temperatures below 75°F slowing growth; 5-7 hr of direct sunlight per day is beneficial.

Oil palm is propagated by seed, using F1 hybrid seed from controlled crosses that produce tenera types (dura x pisifera). Seed is produced by companies specializing in oil palm breeding.

An oil palm planting where older trees have been killed to make way for younger, smaller trees

Pregerminated oil palm seeds are sold by companies that specialize in hybrid seed production

Planting Design, Training, Pruning
Optimal plant density is 58 trees/acre with triangular patterns about 30 ft apart. During the first 3 years, little or no fruit is obtained and plantations are often intercropped with staple crops.
Pruning and Training - none, old leaves are pruned off to facilitate access to the bunch at harvest. When palms reach heights of 20-30 ft, they become difficult to harvest, and are often injected with an herbicide to kill them or bulldozed down. New trees are planted among the dead and rotting trunks.

African oil palm

The African oil palm, Elaeis guineensis Jacq., is placed in the Arecaceae family along with coconut and date palms.


There are three naturally occurring forms of the oil palm fruit, termed dura, tenera, and pisifera. Most cultivars are the tenera form which produces fruit with higher oil content.

The African oil palm is native to tropical Africa, from Sierra Leone in the west through the Democratic Republic of Congo in the east. It was domesticated in its native range, probably in Nigeria, and moved throughout tropical Africa by humans who practiced shifting agriculture at least 5000 years ago. European explorers discovered the palm in the late 1400's, and distributed it throughout the world during the slave trade period. In the early 1800s, the slave trade ended but British began trading with west Africans in ivory, lumber, and palm oil. The oil palm was introduced to the Americas hundreds of years ago, where it became naturalized and associated with slave plantations, but did not become and industry of its own until the 1960s. The first plantations were established on Sumatra in 1911, and in 1917 in Malaysia. Oil palm plantations were established in tropical America and west Africa about this time, and in 2003, palm oil production equaled that of soybean, which had been the number one oil crop for many years.

World (2004 FAO) - 153,578,600 MT or 338 billion pounds. This is about twice the level of production of any other fruit crop, making oil palm by far the world's number one fruit crop. Oil palm is produced in 42 countries worldwide on about 27 million acres. Average yields are 10,000 lbs/acre, and per acre yield of oil from African oil palm is more than 4-fold that of any other oil crop, which has contributed to the vast expansion of the industry over the last few decades.

Top 10 Countries
(% of world production)
1. Malaysia (44%)
2. Indonesia (36%)
3. Nigeria (6%)
4. Thailand (3%)
5. Colombia (2%)
6. Cote d'Ivoire (1%)
7. Ecuador (1%)
8. Cameroon (1%)
9. Congo (1%)
10. Ghana (1%)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pungutan Ekspor Kelapa Sawit, CPO dan Produk Turunannya

Terhitung mulai tanggal 15 Juni 2007, Menteri Keuangan (Menkeu) menetapkan penyesuaian besaran Tarif Pungutan Ekspor atas Kelapa Sawit, Crude Palm Oil (CPO) dan produk turunannya.

Peraturan Menkeu tersebut ditetapkan dalam rangka menjamin terpenuhinya kebutuhan bahan baku untuk industri minyak goreng dan menjaga stabilitas harga minyak goreng di dalam negeri.

Kebijakan tersebut diatur dalam Peraturan Menkeu Nomor 61/PMK.011/2007 tentang Perubahan Kelima Atas Peraturan Menteri Keuangan Nomor: 92/PMK.02/2005 tentang Penetapan Jenis Barang Ekspor Tertentu dan Besaran Tarif Pungutan Ekspor.

Besaran Tarif Pungutan Ekspor terhadap buah dan kernel kelapa sawit (pos tarif 1207.99.20.00) yang sebelumnya 3% menjadi 10%. Selanjutnya terhadap CPO (pos tarif 1511.10.00.00) yang sebelumnya 1,5%, serta Crude Olein (CRD Olein, pos tarif 1511.90.10.00); Refined Bleached Deodorized Palm Oil (RBD PO, pos tarif 1511.90.90.10); dan Refined Bleached Deodorized Palm Olein (RBD Olein, pos tarif 1511.90.90.20) yang sebelumnya 0,3% menjadi 6,5%.

Tarif Pungutan Ekspor sebesar 6,5% juga dikenakan terhadap Crude Stearin (pos tarif 1511.90.10.00); Refined Bleached Deodorized Stearin (RBD Stearin, pos tarif 1511.90.90.30); Palm Kernel Oil (PKO, pos tarif 1513.21.00.00 dan 1513.29.19.00); serta Refined Bleached Deodorized Palm Kernel Oil (RBD PKO, pos tarif 1513.29.29.00 dan 1513.29.99.00).

Sabun Transparan dari Minyak Sawit

Sabun transparan dari minyak sawit bisa dibuat dengan biaya murah. Bahannya pun gampang didapat, dari buah kelapa sawit. Setidaknya, itulah hasil penelitian mahawiswa Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) yang meneliti tentang pemanfaatan minyak inti sawit dan stearin sawit pada pembuatan sabun transparan.

Berbeda dengan sabun transparan yang umumnya menggunakan bahan baku berupa lemak sapi dan minyak kelapa, penelitian ini memanfaatkan minyak inti sawit sebagai bahan baku. ”Minyak kelapa dan minyak inti sawit mempunyai kandungan asam lemak yang mampir sama,” urai mereka dalam paper-nya. Selain minyak inti sawit, bahan lain yang digunakan adalah stearin sawit, asam stearat, natrium hidroksida, alkohol, sukosa, trietanolamin, gliserin, parfum, air, tanah bentonit, dan bahan-bahan kimia untuk analisa.

Penelitian dilakukan melalui dua tahap: penelitian pendahuluan dan penelitian lanjutan. Kedua tahap penelitian dilakukan dalam rentang waktu tiga bulan, Juli 2002 - September 2002 dengan memanfaatkan laboratorium di lingkungan Jurusan Teknologi Industri Pertanian, Fakultas Pertanian, IPB.

Pada penelitian pendahuluan dilakukan pemucatan bahan baku menggunakan bentonit dengan konsentrasi tiga persen (b/b) untuk minyak inti sawit dan lima persen (b/b) untuk stearin sawit. Pemucatan bertujuan untuk mengikat kotoran agar zat warna yang tidak disukai dalam minyak hilang. Pemucatan minyak inti sawit dilakukan dengan cara pemanasan pada suhu 70-80 derajat celcius, kemudian ditambahkan bentonit dan didiamkan selama satu jam. Setelah itu, di-sentrifuge untuk selanjutnya disaring. Sedangkan pemucatan stearin sawit prosesnya sama dengan pemucatan minyak inti sawit namun tidak melalui penyaringan tapi di-sentrifuge.

Pada penelitian lanjutan dilakukan berdasarkan penelitian pendahuluan, yaitu membuat sabun transparan. Sabun dibuat dengan mencampurkan stearin sawit, minyak inti sawit yang telah melalui proses pemucatan, dan asam stearat dengan perbandingan masing-masing 80:15:5 b/b sebanyak 100 gram. Campuran ini kemudian ditambahkan dengan NaOH 20 derajat Be sebanyak 98,3 gram pada suhu 90 - 100 derajat celcius.

Formulasi sabun transparan dibuat dengan cara mencapur stok sabun dengan gliserin, alkohol, sukrosa, dan trietanolamin pada suhu 90 - 100 derajat selama 30 menit di dalam refuks. Pada penelitian ini, formulasi sabun transparan dilakukan dengan dua variasi. Formula pertama menggunakan dua konsentrasi pada sukrosa, dan kedua menggunakan dua konsentrasi pada gliserin sehingga menghasilkan sabun dengan tingkat transparansi terbaik.

Pencampuran bahan-bahan tersebut dalam pembuatan sabun transparan menggunakan refluks pada suhu 90 - 95 derajat celcius selama 30 menit. Gliserin ditambahkan secara perlahan-lahan, diikuti dengan sukrosa, trietanolamin, dan alkohol. Saat pencampuran, suhu berada pada kisaran 90 - 95 derajat celcius. Jika suhu di bawah 90 derajat, maka akan terjadi gumpalan karena tidak larut secara sempurna.

Untuk mengetahui karateristik sabun yang dihasilkan, dilakukan analisis terhadap sifat fisik kimia sabun. Sifat kimia sabun yang diamati antara lain kadar air, asam lemak, alkali bebas, dan lemak yang tidak tersabunkan. Sedangkan sifat fisik yang diamati adalah tingkat kekerasan dan diukur dengan menggunakan alat penetrometer.

Evaluasi penerimaan konsumen terhadap sabun yang dihasilkan dilakukan dengan uji organoleptik (hedonik) terhadap sifat-sifat fisik sabun di antaranya kekerasan, warna (transparansi), dan kelembutan pada kulit. Uji hedonik dilakukan untuk mengetahui tingkat penerimaan konsumen terhadap produk menggunakan panelis sebanyak 16 orang. Penilaan diberikan dengan skor angka. Analisis setelah mendapatkan skor pada uji hedonik adalah analisis non parametik berupa uji kruskal-wallis digunakan untuk menentukan jenis sabun transparan terbaik dilihat dari kekerasan, warna, dan kelembutan pada kulit.

Berdasarkan uji statistik terhadap kekerasan dan transparansi sabun menunjukkan bahwa formula 1, formula 2, formula 3, dan formula 4 tidak berbeda secara signifikan. Dengan kata lain, perbandingan komposisi bahan pembentuk transparan yaitu gliserin, sukrosa, alkohol, dan trietalamin tidak berpengaruh terhadap karakteristik sabun yang dihasilkan. Namun uji statistik terhadap kesan pada kulit menunjukkan bahwa keempat formula sabun berbeda secara signifikan.

Analisa ekonomi
terhadap sabun hasil penelitian ini memperlihatkan bahwa harga produk ini lebih ekonomis dibandingkan dengan harga sabun transparan komersial. Harga produk hasil penelitian sekitar Rp 3.541, sedangkan sabun jenis sama di pasaran sekitar Rp 5.000 dengan satuan produk per 70 gram. Dengan harga tersebut, produk ini memiliki daya saing yang tinggi.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prospek dan Arah Pengembangan Kelapa Sawit

Pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit merupakan salah satu langkah yang diperlukan sebagai kegiatan pembangunan subsektor perkebunan dalam rangka revitalisasi sektor pertanian. Perkembangan pada berbagai subsistem yang sangat pesat pada agribisnis kelapa sawit sejak menjelang akhir tahun 1970-an menjadi bukti pesatnya perkembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit. Dalam dokumen praktis ini digambarkan prospek pengembangan agribisnis saat ini hingga tahun 2010, dan arah pengembangan hingga tahun 2025. Masyarakat luas, khususnya petani, pengusaha, dan pemerintah dapat menggunakan dokumen praktis ini sebagai acuan.

Perkebunan kelapa sawit saat ini telah berkembang tidak hanya yang diusahakan oleh perusahaan negara, tetapi juga perkebunan rakyat dan swasta. Pada tahun 2003, luas areal perkebunan rakyat mencapai 1.827 ribu ha (34,9%), perkebunan negara seluas 645 ribu ha (12,3%), dan perkebunan besar swasta seluas 2.765 ribu ha (52,8%). Ditinjau dari bentuk pengusahaannya, perkebunan rakyat (PR) memberi andil produksi CPO sebesar 3.645 ribu ton (37,12%), perkebunan besar negara (PBN) sebesar 1.543 ribu ton (15,7 %), dan perkebunan besar swasta (PBS) sebesar 4.627 ribu ton (47,13%). Produksi CPO juga menyebar dengan perbandingan 85,55% Sumatera, 11,45% Kalimantan, 2%, Sulawesi, dan 1% wilayah lainnya. Produksi tersebut dicapai pada tingkat produktivitas perkebunan rakyat sekitar 2,73 ton CPO/ha, perkebunan negara 3,14 ton CPO/ha, dan perkebunan swasta 2,58 ton CPO/ha.

Pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit ke depan juga didukung secara handal oleh enam produsen benih dengan kapasitas 124 juta per tahun. Pusat Penelitian Kelapa Sawit (PPKS), PT. Socfin, PT. Lonsum, PT. Dami Mas, PT. Tunggal Yunus, dan PT. Bina Sawit Makmur masing-masing mempunyai kapasitas 35 juta, 25 juta, 15 juta, 12 juta, 12 juta, dan 25 juta. Permasalahan benih palsu diyakini dapat teratasi melalui langkah-langkah sistematis dan strategis yang telah disepakati secara nasional. Impor benih kelapa sawit harus dilakukan secara hati-hati terutama dengan pertimbangan penyebaran penyakit.

Dalam hal industri pengolahan, industri pengolahan CPO telah berkembang dengan pesat. Saat ini jumlah unit pengolahan di seluruh Indonesia mencapai 320 unit dengan kapasitas olah 13,520 ton TBS per jam. Sedangkan industri pengolahan produk turunannya, kecuali minyak goreng, masih belum berkembang, dan kapasitas terpasang baru sekitar 11 juta ton. Industri oleokimia Indonesia sampai tahun 2000 baru memproduksi olekimia 10,8% dari produksi dunia.

Secara umum dapat diindikasikan bahwa pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit masih mempunyai prospek, ditinjau dari prospek harga, ekspor dan pengembangan produk. Secara internal, pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit didukung potensi kesesuaian dan ketersediaan lahan, produktivitas yang masih dapat meningkat dan semakin berkembangnya industri hilir. Dengan prospek dan potensi ini, arah pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit adalah pemberdayaan di hulu dan penguatan di hilir.

Sejalan dengan tujuan pembangunan pertanian, tujuan utama pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit adalah :
  1. menumbuhkembangkan usaha kelapa sawit di pedesaan yang akan memacu aktivitas ekonomi pedesaan, menciptakan lapangan kerja dan meningkatkan kesejahteraan masyarakat, dan
  2. menumbuhkan industri pengolahan CPO dan produk turunannya serta industri penunjang (pupuk, obata-obatan dan alsin) dalam meningkatkan daya saing dan nilai tambah CPO dan produk turunannya.
Sedangkan sasaran utamanya adalah
  1. peningkatan produktivitas menjadi 15 ton TBS/ha/tahun,
  2. pendapatan petani antara US$ 1,500 – 2,000/KK/tahun, dan
  3. produksi mencapai 15,3 juta ton CPO dengan alokasi domestik 6 juta ton.
Arah kebijakan jangka panjang adalah pengembangan sistem dan usaha agribisnis kelapa sawit yang berdaya saing, berkerakyatan, berkelanjutan dan terdesentralisasi. Dalam jangka menengah kebijakan pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit meliputi peningkatan produktivitas dan mutu, pengembangan industri hilir dan peningkatan nilai tambah, serta penyediaan dukungan dana pengembangan.

Strategi pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit diantaranya adalah integrasi vertikal dan horisontal perkebunan kelapa sawit dalam rangka peningkatan ketahanan pangan masyarakat, pengembangan usaha pengolahan kelapa sawit di pedesaan, menerapkan inovasi teknologi dan kelembagaan dalam rangka pemanfaatan sumber daya perkebunan, dan pengembangan pasar. Strategi tersebut didukung dengan penyediaan infrastruktur (sarana dan prasarana) dan kebijakan pemerintah yang kondusif untuk peningkatan kapasitas agribisnis kelapa sawit. Dalam implementasinya, strategi pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit didukung dengan program-program yang komprehensif dari berbagai aspek manajemen, yaitu perencanaan, pelaksanaan (perbenihan, budidaya dan pemeliharaan, pengolahan hasil, pengembangan usaha, dan pemberdayaan masyarakat) hingga evaluasi.

Kebutuhan investasi untuk perluasan kebun kelapa sawit 60.000 ha per tahun untuk lima tahun ke depan adalah Rp. 12,7 trilyun. Kebutuhan investasi di Indonesia Barat adalah Rp. 5,8 trilyun, investasi petani plasma sebesar Rp. 3,4 trilyun perusahaan inti sebesar Rp. 1,9 trilyun pemerintah sebesar Rp. 587milyar. Kebutuhan investasi di Indonesia Timur adalah Rp. 6,8 trilyun (investasi petani plasma sebesar Rp. 3,9 trilyun, perusahaan inti sebesar Rp. 2,3 trilyun dan pemerintah sebesar Rp. 649 milyar.

Kebutuhan investasi untuk peremajaan kebun kelapa sawit 100.000 ha per tahun untuk lima tahun ke depan adalah Rp. 14,6 trilyun. Kebutuhan investasi untuk peremajaan 80.000 ha di Indonesia Barat adalah Rp. 10,7 trilyun (investasi petani plasma sebesar Rp. 8 trilyun perusahaan inti sebesar Rp. 2,4 milyar dan pemerintah sebesar Rp. 349,912,500,000). Kebutuhan investasi untuk peremajaan 20.000 ha di Indonesia Timur adalah Rp.3,9 trilyun (investasi petani plasma sebesar Rp. 3 trilyun perusahaan inti sebesar Rp. 741milyar dan pemerintah sebesar Rp. 113 milyar Total biaya investasi yang diperlukan dalam 5 tahun ke depan sekitar Rp. 27,3 trilyun.

Dalam implementasinya, pengembangan agribisnis kelapa sawit baik melalui perluasan maupun peremajaan menerapkan pola pengembangan inti-plasma dengan penguatan kelembagaan melalui pemberian kesempatan kepada petani plasma sebagai pemilik saham perusahaan. Pemilikan saham ini dilakukan melalui cicilan pembelian saham dari hasil potongan penjualan hasil atau dari hasil outsourcing dana oleh organisasi petani.

Kebutuhan investasi untuk pengembangan pabrik biodiesel kapasitas 6.000 ton per tahun (6.600 kl per tahun) dan kapasitas 100.000 ton per tahun (110.000 kl per tahun) masing-masing adalah Rp. 12 milyar dan Rp. 180 milyar. Apabila setiap tahun dibangun satu pabrik skala kecil dan besar, maka total biaya investasi yang diperlukan dalam lima tahun ke depan Rp. 860 milyar. Nilai investasi tersebut diperlukan untuk membeli peralatan dan mendirikan bangunan pabrik. Dukungan kebijakan sarana dan prasarana serta regulasi diperlukan untuk mencapai sasaran investasi dan pengembangan agribisnis sawit ini. Dukungan kebijakan diharapkan diperoleh dari Departemen Perindustrian, Departemen Perdagangan, Deparetemen Keuangan, Bank Indonesia, Kantor Menteri Negara BUMN, Departemen Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral, Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal, Kantor Menteri Negara Usaha Kecil, Menengah dan Koperasi, Pemerintah Daerah, dan Kejaksaan Agung serta Kepolisian.

Sektor Pertanian Kelapa Sawit

Faktor kunci untuk itu ialah peningkatan dan perluasan kapasitas produksi melalui renovasi, penumbuh-kembangan dan restrukturisasi agribisnis, kelembagaan maupun infrastruktur penunjang. Peningkatan dan perluasan kapasitas produksi diwujudkan melalui investasi bisnis maupun investasi infrastruktur. Pada intinya, investasi adalah modal yang digunakan untuk meningkatkan atau memfasilitasi peningkatan kapasitas produksi.

Sasaran jangka panjang pembangunan sektor pertanian, antara lain :
  1. terwujudnya sistem pertanian industrial yang berdaya saing,
  2. mantapnya ketahanan pangan secara mandiri,
  3. terciptanya kesempatan kerja penuh bagi masyarakat pertanian, dan
  4. terhapusnya masyarakat pertanian dari kemiskinan dan tercapainya pendapatan petani US$ 2.500 per kapita per tahun.
Untuk mewujudkan sasaran tersebut, garis-garis besar kebijakan yang akan dilakukan, antara lain :
  1. membangun basis bagi partisipasi petani,
  2. meningkatkan potensi basis produksi dan skala usaha pertanian,
  3. mewujudkan pemenuhan kebutuhan sumberdaya insani pertanian yang berkualitas,
  4. mewujudkan pemenuhan kebutuhan infrastruktur pertanian,
  5. mewujudkan sistem pembiayaan pertanian tepat guna,
  6. mewujudkan sistem inovasi pertanian,
  7. penyediaan sistem insentif dan perlindungan bagi petani,
  8. mewujudkan sistem usahatani bernilai tinggi melalui intensifikasi-diversifikasi dan pewilayahan pengembangan komoditas unggulan,
  9. mewujudkan agroindustri berbasis pertanian domestik di pedesaan,
  10. mewujudkan sistem rantai pasok terpadu berbasis kelembagaan pertanian yang kokoh,
  11. menerapkan praktek pertanian dan manufaktur yang baik, dan
  12. mewujudkan pemerintahan yang baik, bersih, dan berpihak kepada petani dan pertanian.

Indonesia masih mempunyai potensi sumberdaya lahan untuk pertanian yang cukup luas, yaitu sekitar 100,8 juta hektar, yang terdiri dari 24,5 juta hektar untuk lahan basah (sawah) (tersisa 16,7 juta hektar) dan 76,3 juta hektar untuk lahan kering (tersisa 22 juta hektar). Untuk keperluan pengembangan dalam jangka pendek, di Indonesia masih ada sekitar 1,08 juta hektar lahan tidur (lahan alang-alang) yang tersebar di 13 provinsi. Agar pemanfaatan potensi lahan yang tersedia tersebut dapat optimal, perlu didukung oleh sistem mekanisasi pertanian yang baik. Implementasi mekanisasi pertanian di Indonesia selama ini relatif lamban, yang disebabkan antara lain :
(a) skala kepemilikan lahan yang relatif kecil,
(b) relatif rendahnya insentif harga produk pertanian olahan, dan
(c) melimpahnya tenaga kerja di sektor pertanian, sehingga penerapan teknologi mekanisasi pertanian seringkali mendapat tentangan dari masyarakat.

Peluang pengembangan mekanisasi pertanian di Indonesia masih terbuka sangat lebar. Hasil identifikasi menunjukkan bahwa di subsektor tanaman pangan, khususnya padi, dari alur aktivitas kegiatan usahatani padi mulai dari pengolahan lahan hingga penggilingan, hanya ada dua kegiatan yang penerapan mekanisasinya sudah mencapai 100 persen, yaitu pengendalian hama-penyakit dan penggilingan padi, sementara untuk kegiatan yang lainnya masih relatif rendah, bahkan untuk kegiatan tanam, penyiangan dan panen 100 persen masih menggunakan alat tradisional. Untuk sub sektor perkebunan, ketersediaan alsin pengolahan juga masih relatif rendah, sehingga hanya mampu menyerap bahan baku sekitar 10-30 persen, kecuali untuk komoditi kelapa sawit, ketersediaan alsin pengolahannya sudah mampu menyerap sekitar 90 persen bahan baku yang ada. Hal yang sama juga terjadi di sub sektor peternakan dan tanaman hortikultura.

Dari hasil identifikasi dengan menggunakan metode “pohon industri”, menunjukkan bahwa prospek bisnis 17 komoditas unggulan sangat cerah untuk dikembangkan di Indonesia. Investasi yang dibutuhkan untuk mengembangkan ke 17 komoditas unggulan tersebut selama 5 tahun (2005-2010) mencapai Rp. 145,7 trilyun. Sementara itu, kebutuhan investasi selama periode yang sama untuk sektor pertanian secara keseluruhan mencapai Rp. 183,1 trilyun.