WWF-HSBC Encourage Certified Palm Farmers
Sintang Regent, Jarot Winarno in his speech read by Vice Regent Askiman, welcomed this initiative. "We hope the farmers can run their business activities in a sustainable way," he said at the launch of the Certification Program and Strengthening Farmers' Role in Sustainable Palm Oil Implementation in Sintang, Tuesday (27/2/2018).
The Regent explained that WWF-Indonesia has been presented in Sintang for such a long time. Many contributions have been given to the Sintang Government in supporting development. Starting from the regional planning to the capacity building of the apparatus and the community.
"We are grateful for the support provided by WWF and HSBC that has been launched. We hope the management of oil palm self-help is getting better and can improve the farmer's economy. This activity will also collaborate and synergize with Sintang District Government in the implementation around the field." he said.
The Regent explained that in the last five years, the economic structure in Sintang is still dominated by three economic sectors: agriculture, trade, hotels and restaurants, and industry.
The Sintang government is currently focusing on plantation development on five commodities, namely palm oil, rubber, coffee, cocoa, and pepper. The farmers play an important role as some of these commodities have been developed by the community. These commodities are also the driving force of the people's economy.
HSBC Head of Corporate Sustainability, Nuni Sutyoko said that palm oil is a commodity subsector of plantations that is required to carry out sustainable practices in its management. "The three important aspects are economic, social, and environmental. All three become important pillars to balance." she said.
Furthermore, Nuni explained that oil palm plantation also involves many parties in the governance. "One of the main actors in it is self-help farmers. They play an important role in realizing sustainable palm oil development." said Nuni.
Nuni emphasized that capacity building of self-help farmers is an important step in efforts to make them the main drivers of sustainable palm oil plantations at grassroot level. "HSBC is committed to assisting self-help farmers in realizing this." she explained.
Meanwhile, Director of WWF-Indonesia Irwan Gunawan also added that West Kalimantan Province plays an important role as the largest producer of palm oil in Kalimantan Island. Statistically, oil palm plantations in West Kalimantan include an area of approximately 1,455,182 hectares. Most are operated by oil palm growers and small farmers owning about 25 percent of the total land area.
In respond to these challenges, Irwan said that WWF and HSBC have signed an agreement on June 30, 2014 to strengthen the smallholder platform towards sustainable palm oil practices in Sintang. "This program has been running and will be in dissemination process, and achievement recognition of the program to the stakeholders in Sintang." he explained.
Irwan asserted that HSBC and WWF are continuously committed to assisting smallholders in Sintang. The commitment is to continue the cooperation to support self-help farmers who are members of the Rimba Harapan Production Cooperative for the next three years between 2018 to 2020.
The main objective of the upcoming three-year intervention is to empower oil palm self-helping farmers to get RSPO and ISPO certification. In addition, the program targets strengthening economic resilience for cooperative members by identifying and building business plans for sustainable alternative income.
Another important point of the program is to maintain and enhance local government support and continue capacity building for key actors, as well as enhance learning by documenting a comprehensive process that will be disseminated for use as a tool for promoting sustainable palm oil plantation practices.