The contribution of agricultural commodities from the plantation sector has been significant in terms of job opportunities and export earnings. Major plantation crops such as oil palm, coconut, sago, rubber, coffee, cacao, tea, pepper, clove, medicinal plants, and sugar cane may continue their significant contribution to the economy of many tropical countries. These countries will still dominate as the world’s leading producers of those plantations at least for the near future. Plantation and agricultural sectors are labour intensive and as these sectors are steadily expanding, a reliable work force requirement has become one of major issues resulting in huge dependency on capacity development to fulfill the rising need.
Human capital will always be major decisive factor in determining a plantation and agricultural organizations success and survival. The viability of the plantation sector is greatly dependent on the availability and skill of its human resources. Training and academia related to the plantation industry have been identified as niche programs to ensure this sector’s sustainability. Mechanization of plantation operations is yet to solve many labour shortage problems besides improving productivity and quality of the product.
Other innovations and technologies are also sought after the development and enhancement of the plantation industry. Plantation industries development must be engaged with technology innovation that not only contributes to more socio-economic value but also maintain and improve sustainable agricultural ecosystem.
Regarding the plan for holding the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Plantation (ICSP) is to be a collaboration between IPB University with Indonesian Center for Estate Crops Research and Development (ICERD) The Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD), with involving the Palma Research Institute, Indonesian Industry and Freshner Crops Research Institute (IFCRI), Indonesian Spice and Medicinal Crops Research Institute (ISMCRI), and Indonesian Sweetener and Fiber Crops Research Institute (ISFCRI).