Farmers complain about shrinking prices of palm oil

Blangpidie, Aceh (ANTARA News) – Farmers in the district of Aceh Barat Daya complained about shrinking prices of fresh palm fruit bunches (FFB) down as much as 50 percent in the past month.

A Blangpidie farmer in the sub-district of Babahrot, Muazam, said before the Ramadan or in May, the FFB selling to the crude palm oil (CPO) factories averaged Rp1,700 per kilogram.

But since the start of Ramadan the prices of FFB fell gradually to reach Rp920 per kg at CPO factory at present.

“After Ied ul Fitr the price of palm oil dropped sharply. The factory buying prices for FFB averaged only Rp920 per kg . That was a factory buying price at the district of Nagan Raya. The buying prices set by traders from the farmers averaged only Rp650 per kilogram,” Muazam said here on Monday.

Muazam, a former civil servant in the district, suspected the price fall was the work of a number of greedy traders and CPO factories, cheating the farmers to earn profit as much as possible.

He said the value of the U.S. dollar has continued to rise lately, but the FFB price dropped, adding normally the FFB price rose when the dollar appreciated.

The traders have worked together in cheating the farmers by dictating the prices to the farmers, who generally could not find other buyers, he said.

“The provincial and district administrations should do something about this to help farmers to find a fair buyers for their commodity. The farmers should not be left to depend on the greedy traders,” he said.

He said the provincial and district and city administrations have the authority to control the selling prices of various farm commodities in favor of farmers.

“The regional administration should seriously address the problem and warn CPO factories to be fair in their dealing with the farmers,” he said.

Indonesia is the worlds largest producers of palm oil and CPO is one of countrys largest export earners.

Source: ANTARA News