The Indonesian government has launched a rejuvenation programme aimed at improving the productivity on more than 9,000ha of oil palm plantations in 12 districts in North Sumatra province.

According to Indonesian president Joko Widodo, of the province’s 470,000ha of oil palm plantations, at least 350,000ha needed rejuvenation, Antara News reported on 27 November.

He said trees aged between 25 and 30 years were no longer productive, yielding less than 10 tonnes of fruits annually, and the government – through the People’s Palm Oil Replanting Programme – would provide funding for farmers to replant such trees.

In October, Indonesia carried out a similar programme in South Sumatra on 4,100ha of plantations.

Widodo also said the country was aiming to become a major producer of palm oil derivative products.

“The industrial management of oil palm should be improved. We should boost ways to manage, preserve and replant the fields,” he said.

Indonesia has a total of 11M ha of oil palm plantations, of which at least 4.6M ha were privately owned, Antara News wrote.