Participatory Training for Social Laboratory Development Action Plan: Intercropping and Jangka Benah


Participatory Training for Social Laboratory Development Action Plan: Intercropping and Jangka Benah

Sustainable palm oil has always been one of the issues regarding the acceptance of Indonesian palm oil in the global market, especially the European Union. Working Package 3 (WP3), which is part of the SustainPalm Project, also supports efforts to implement and improve sustainable practices in palm oil production systems to improve environmental, social and economic performance. Primarily related to the issue of carbon and biodiversity rich landscapes with the development of LivingLab in Pencing Bekulo Village, Siak Regency, Riau Province. The initial identification of the IPB University WP3 Team found two issues related to sustainable palm oil, namely the existence of oil palm plants on peatlands and the decline in income of oil palm farmers during the replanting period. After discussions with several related parties, including local governments (provincial and district), village governments, and companies around the location, the LivingLab Intercropping and Janghka Benah program will established in the peat area.

In order to create an action plan for the development of LivingLab Intercropping and Jangka Benah, the WP3-IPB University Team conducted a Participatory Training activity on LivingLab Development Action Plan: Intercropping and Benah on 24-26 February 2024 by inviting representatives of the government and the community of Pencing Bekulo Village, Management and members of the Kandis Sejahtera Palm Oil Cooperative, representatives of KPH Mandau, Siak Regency Agricultural Extension, Siak Regency Bappeda and SMARTRI-PT. SMART Tbk. There were a total of 24 participants and 6 resource persons.

The first day of training began with an explanation about LivingLab by Prof. Dr. Ir. Sri Wilarso Budi, MS, continued with official remarks from the Siak Regency Regional Government delivered by Dr. H. Fauzi Asni, M.Si, Assistant Regional Secretary for Government and Social Welfare. Fauzi stated, “This program is in line with the Siak Regency Government’s Green Siak program which prioritizes the principles of sustainability and sustainable development in the fields of infrastructure, utilization of natural resources and community economic development.” The first material discusses intercropping practices presented by Elfrin Nisa Azmi from the Smart Research Institute (SMARTRI). The second material was about the Rehabilitation Period and Peatland Management delivered by Danang Kabul Sukresno, S.Hut, MT, M.Si, from the Riau Province Environment and Forestry Service. The first day ended with a briefing from the Head of the Siak Regency Bappeda, L Budhi Yuwono.

The second day of the training began with playing the ISPO Companion Modeling, which was aimed at opening the participants’ mindsets about the importance of sustainable palm oil. Role-playing as oil palm farmers who are required to have ISPO certification, especially those in forest areas, provides participants with experience of the importance of diversity in sources of livelihood and checking the status of the land before using it. The next material was to create a Follow-up Work Plan where participants were divided into two groups to produce a map of potentials and obstacles and an action plan for non-palm oil economic development in the themes of intercropping and jangka benah. The two action plans that were produced were: (1) Jangka Benah for Pencing Bekulo Village Develop through the Development of Bekalar River Agroecotourism, and (2) Intercropping in the Replanting Program.

The training closed on February 26 2024 with the launch of the LivingLab Intercropping and Jangka Benah. The event began with remarks from IPB University, represented by Prof. Dr. Ir. Sri Wilarso Budi, MS as Team Leader of WP3 and continued by representatives from the Riau Province Environment and Forestry Service, represented by Budi Hidayat, SP, MM as Head of the Watershed Management, Peat Restoration and Social Forestry Division. In this event, representatives of two groups of training participants explained the action plans that would be carried out in the LivingLab Intercropping and Jangka Benah. The discussion was quite dynamic in response to the results of the two groups’ presentations which resulted in a commitment to collaboration in realizing the action plan that had been developed together. (DIM/PPT)