In the SMA Negeri 11 (SMAN 11) School in the Canal Village, Maro Sebo sub district, Batang, Asian Agri has introduced the program Schooling for Sustainable Palm Oil.
Asian Agri is one of the various independent companies of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group of companies, and its manufacturing operations are based in Indonesia. It is one of Asia’s largest producers of raw palm oil, with a production of one million tons of palm oil annually.
Schooling for Sustainable Palm Oil is taught for two hours every Saturday at SMAN 11 by staff members of the Asian Agri group, who believe that teaching these technical aspects of palm oil cultivation to the younger generation is vital. In general the students attending SMAN 11 are the children of smallholders, and the program helps to teach those children more about the palm oil business with classes ranging from plantation management to selecting the best quality seeds, the planting and maintenance thereof and the best way to implement these.
Welly Pardede, head of CSR and sustainability of Asian Agri, explained that the Schooling for Sustainable Palm Oil program aims to support the teaching and learning environment at the elementary, middle and high school, while at the same time making use of school property to generate profits.
To further the project, Asian Agri has contributed an area of approximately 0.7 hectares to SMAN 11 to cultivate palm oil on. Roughly 100 Palm oil trees can be planted on this area, and it is hoped that the program will cultivate the school’s self-reliance, allowing the school to become more financially independent in the future.
“We support the activities of the program ‘Schooling for Sustainable Palm Oil’, and hope that this program can also be done by other plantation companies, especially those operating in Batang Hari” – Setdakab Batang Rizal, Assistant III, Maro Sebo.