Sugarcane cutting, loading and the transport process of sugar cane (TMA) in the sugar industry in Indonesia and even the industry in the world often becomes a "bottle neck". There are so many problems that require attention and require the best solution to solve.
In the harvesting process, the sugar cane is often not properly cut since the butts are left. There is cane left behind in the field and there is cane that falls off the trucks during transshipment and is wasted. It is very ironic that so much work is done to get the optimal growth of sugar cane by good land preparation, planting, care, nurturing but then these profits are lost in the harvesting and delivery. Not to mention the capacity of sugar factories that do not meet supply, will increase new problems, which in turn influence and increases the operational losses of sugar factories.
In the 2010/2011 harvest, PTPN II plans to operate two sugar mills, with capacity of 3400 tons per day for each and need 6800 people per day to cut (the average performance of the cutters is 1 ton of cane per person per day). The management of the labour force is made even worse by the following:
- The geographical condition of PTPN II, sugar cane plantation is in the vicinity of Medan (capital of province and the third largest city in Indonesia), this causes the people to rather get more respectable jobs then to cut sugar cane which is difficult physical work that is outside (hot, sunny ) and uncomfortable due to the leaves causing a rash.
- There is lots of infrastructure development in Medan Binjai, Langkat and Deli Serdang that offer better jobs with higher wages.
- The earning to cut sugar cane is not attractive enough and will rather do other work on the farm then cut sugarcane.
This shows that there has to be a shift toward mechanical harvesting or cutting of sugarcane.
Time and Place of Visit:
Visit was conducted in PT Laju Perdana Indah ( Ogan Komering-Soutn Sumatera ) on 28-30 October 2010.
The purpose of Visit:
The purpose of visit to PT Laju Perdana Indah is as follows:
- To have a look and evaluate the performance of cutting tools for sugar cane that operates semi mechanized cutting machinery at PT Laju Perdana Indah Palembang.
- To study the feasibility of a mechanical cutting tool to be used in the sugar cane field at PT Perkebunan Nusantara II
Benefit of the Visit:
The benefit of this visit report are as follows:
- As an input to select the alternative cane cutting machine in operation at the PT Perkebunan Nusantara II
- For the authors, the benefit of the visit is to applying this knowledge in the application of agricultural mechanization of sugarcane cultivation
- As reference for observers of the sugar industry