A worker collects oil palm fruit bunches at an oil palm plantation in Lampung. (The Jakarta Post/R. Berto Wedhatama)

The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) has called on the winner of the presidential election to increase the domestic demand for crude palm oil (CPO), including through the expansion of the CPO for fuel program.

Gapki executive director Mukti Sardjono said recently that increasing the use of CPO in fuel, which is currently implemented through the 20 percent blended biodiesel ( B20 ) program, would help absorb the overwhelming stock of the commodity that had resulted from restrictions in the international market.

“We really hope that the president-elect will accelerate the CPO for energy program,” Mukti said as quoted by kontan.co.id.

Currently, the government is preparing to expand the use of 30 percent blended biodiesel ( B30 ) and is conducting research on the use of B100, as the European Union plans to prohibit the use of CPO as a raw material for biofuel, arguing that oil palm plantations cause deforestation.

CPO could also be used as an additional material for bio-gasoline and jet fuel (avtur).

Mukti also expressed hope that CPO exports would increase to both traditional markets like India, Pakistan, China and Bangladesh as well as non-traditional markets like countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Gapki also called on the election winner to improve infrastructure, particularly seaports and road access, to boost CPO exports.

Meanwhile, from the production side, the replanting program that was begun by the current government should be accelerated to improve productivity, Mukti added. (bbn)