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Research Report

Oil palm estate development and its impact on forests and local communities in West Papua: A case study on the Prafi Plain

Fransina F Kesaulija
Bernadetta MG Sadsoeitoebeon
Hans FZ Peday
Max J Tokede
Heru Komarudin
Rubeta Andriani
Krystof Obidzinski
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 30
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. vi-vi)

    Indonesia is striving to maintain its position as the world’s largest palm oil producer, and is planning to expand production to 40 million tonnes a year by 2020, twice the volume produced in 2010 (PalmOilHQ 2009; Tempo Interactive 2010; World Bank and IFC 2011). To achieve this production target, the area of oil palm plantations is expected to expand from 7.9 million ha in 2010 to 20 million ha by 2020. This will mean the establishment of 300,000 ha of new oil palm estates every year (Greenpeace 2009; Telapak and EIA 2009). The Directorate General of Estate Crops in the...

  2. (pp. 1-1)

    Large-scale development of oil palm estates in Indonesia began in 1977, with the government’s Nucleus Estate and Smallholder Scheme. Under the scheme, private developers (known as inti or nucleus) prepared plots of land for smallholders located nearby. As these plots matured, usually after 3–4 years, the operations were transferred to the smallholders (known as plasma), who developed the plantations under the supervision of the nucleus developers (Casson 1999). In 2010, approximately 3.89 million ha (50%) of oil palm estates were private, 3.31 million ha (42%) were community estates, and only 617,000 ha (8%) were state-owned (Ministry of Agriculture 2010)....

  3. (pp. 1-3)

    Stakeholder perceptions of the economic, environmental and cultural impacts of oil palm development were collected through household surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews conducted in January–August 2011.

    Using pre-designed and field-tested questionnaires, household surveys were carried out to interview members of four stakeholder groups: company workers, former landowners and customary land users, investing farmers and affected neighbors.

    Company workers are nucleus estate workers or farm workers (company employees) with full-time, part-time or temporary jobs.

    Former landowners and customary users include family groups whose customary land has been converted to nucleus estate land, and land-using community members who...

  4. (pp. 4-7)

    The study location comprises the PTPN II Kebun Prafi plantation estates, which are located in the three subdistricts of Masni, Prafi and Warmare, Manokwari District, West Papua Province (Figure 2). PTPN II is a state-owned plantation enterprise with the head office in Tanjung Murawa, Medan, North Sumatra; it was the first company to establish a large-scale oil palm estate in West Papua Province.

    During 1982–2009, PTPN II Kebun Prafi managed 12,049 ha of oil palm estate, with 99% of its palms producing fruit. In addition to managing the nucleus and plasma estates, the company also works with the cooperative...

  5. (pp. 7-16)

    Oil palm development may have different effects on different stakeholders. This section describes the stakeholder groups that were the focus of this study and then presents findings on the environmental, socioeconomic and sociocultural impacts of oil palm estates on each group.

    Of the respondents interviewed, 3 (8%) were Arfak, 9 (24%) were non-Arfak Papuans, and 26 (68%) were non-Papuan immigrants. Daily workers and pieceworkers on the company nucleus estate mostly come from non-Papuan communities. The low number of Arfak working for the company reflects their lack of interest in wage labor. Most Arfak also lack the skills and experience for...

  6. (pp. 16-17)

    Oil palm estates on the Prafi Plain have undoubtedly contributed to the region’s economic development by creating employment and providing opportunities for various stakeholders to improve their standard of living. Oil palm estates also provide an opportunity for customary communities to interact with government officials, company employees and migrants. The operation of the estate, designed originally through the PIR-Trans scheme, has had positive impacts on various stakeholder groups such as company workers, former landowners and customary users, investing farmers and affected neighbors.

    The company’s workers, in particular, experienced positive livelihood changes, which were attributed to increased income and more reliable...