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Indonesia to end palm oil export ban

Indonesia will lift a ban on palm oil exports next week, President Joko Widodo says, after hundreds of farmers protested against the policy.

Jokowi, as the president is known, said exports would resume starting on Monday because cooking oil is now widely available at cheaper prices.

“Thank God, the supply of cooking oil has increased, more than enough nationally,” Jokowi said at a press conference announcing the reversal.

Exports of cooking oil and crude palm oil were suspended starting April 28 as the government struggled to stabilise prices at home.

On Tuesday, hundreds of small palm oil farmers rallied in several cities, demanding the government end the ban.

They said that companies had stopped buying palm oil from them, rendering their crops worthless.

Farmers welcomed the new decision.

“I thank the president for ending the ban. Our economic wheels can now turn again,” Manusetus Darto, the secretary general of the Union of Palm Oil Farmers, said.

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