Sipef Headquarters

Kasteel Calesberg - Calesbergdreef 5
B-2900 Schoten - Belgium
Phone: +32 3 641 97 00

Applying best management practices

Soil fertility is critical for plantations. Sipef has developed detailed procedures to maintain and enhance soil fertility. Every step of operational management, from land preparation to the disposal of processing by-products or even waste management can contribute towards that goal.

Before any planting or re-planting, our agronomists carry out a detailed planning process, examining soil suitability, topography, variety to be planted, and long-term yield expectations. This process is reviewed by senior management before field activities can be initiated.

Land preparation, either for new plantings or for replantings is subject to a strict zero burning policy. In Indonesia, this is consistent with the ASEAN Zero Burning Policy. The felled vegetation is stacked and allowed to decay, conserving the organic matter and improving soil fertility.

Areas steeper than 25ยบ are not developed, and are maintained in their original state. Such areas are too steep to be planted without serious erosion and work safety risk.

On rolling or slightly hilly terrain, terraces are established on contour lines to reduce the potential for soil erosion. The terraces are sometimes strengthened by planting Vetiver or Guatemala grass, which have deep roots that will stabilize the soil and reduce erosion. Used tires are also sometimes used to consolidate specific areas, and are hence re-used on site, instead of being carried away for destruction or recycling.

After land-clearing, Leguminous Cover Crops (LCC) are immediately planted. LCC are selected for their ability to rapidly cover an area, and for their nitrogen-fixing. Not only does this cover reduce exposure of the soil to sun, wind and rain erosion, it also prevents the growth of weeds. Development of the LCC is checked to avoid overgrowth, and possible colonization of conservation areas.

Riparian areas are identified and set aside to protect water quality for downstream users and provide corridors to wildlife. These buffer areas also protect the water bodies from accidental erosion damage.
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