Palm oil, natural rubber, cocoa, coffee, tea, and sugar are world trade commodities. In the last five years, the business performance of part of these commodities are in strong contraction. Crude palm oil and natural rubber prices decline significantly, and on the other hand the prices of production inputs increase. The condition becomes more dramatic where a prolonged El Nino or La Nina occurred frequently in the producing countries, affecting the production and productivity.
Responding to the problems faced by plantation sector, whether caused by internal and external factors, various innovations developed by research institutes worldwide have been available such as biotechnology and bio-engineering, bio-energy, biopharmaceutical and cosmetics, green infrastructure and zero waste technologies. Furthermore, information and communication technologies, act as a lifesaver for sustaining the global plantation business, have been developed and applied. Research also found strategies to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change and soil degradation, as well as the business model for sustainable development. Many plantation commodity producing countries have shifted from up-stream to down-stream based industry, stimulating increase demand for the commodities in the domestic market. Indonesia, the main producing country for plantation commodities, has advantages compared with other countries. Indonesia is commodities net-exporter of palm oil, natural rubber, cocoa, coffee, and tea, while on the other hand it is also the third main importer of world sugar production.
Riset Perkebunan Nusantara, managing the most experienced plantation research institutes in Indonesia, will organize World Plantation Conferences and Exhibition 2017 (WPLACE-2017), under a theme of Plantation in the Current and Future Challenges. WPLACE-2017 will discuss various aspects of plantation commodity development, arranging from global perspective of plantation business development up to local technical solution of six main plantation commodities (oil palm, rubber, cocoa, coffee, sugar cane, and tea), in a one package of conferences and exhibition function.