Benchmarking Yield for Sustainable Intensification of Oil Palm Production in Indonesia using PALMSIM uri icon


  • The physiological oil palm growth model PALMSIM can be used to estimate yield ceilings that providebenchmarks for sustainable intensification of oil palm production, either by expansion of cultivation todegraded sites or by increasing production from areas under cultivation. This is demonstrated using twocase studies. In the first case study, PALMSIM estimates of water-limited yield for Kalimantan was overlaidonto a recently published map showing degraded sites potentially suitable for oil palm cultivation. Alarge proportion (35.6%; or 115,300 km2) of the identified areas fell into the potential productivity rangeof 35 to 40 tonnes FFB per hectare. In the second case study, PALMSIM was used to estimate potential yieldfor six plantation sites in Indonesia where best management practices (BMP) were assessed for yieldintensification by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) andits collaborating plantation partners. Potential yields are generally higher in Sumatra than in Kalimantandue to higher solar radiation. Water deficit was a problem at two sites. The gap between water-limitedyield and actual yield differs from location to location, and therefore requires a site-specific analysis. Inthese two case studies, the scope for sustainable intensification at regional and at plantation level wasexplored in a quantitative manner - a novel approach to oil palm production

publication date

  • 2015