Posted on 21 August 2013
In a first for the Indonesian palm oil industry, an independent smallholder association has received certification from the RSPO.
In a first for the Indonesian palm oil industry, an independent smallholder association has received certification from the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The certification, the second such certification of independent smallholders in the world, is particularly significant in Indonesia where over 40% of total palm oil production comes from smallholder’s plantations.
WWF-Indonesia facilitated the formation of the Amanah Palm Oil Independent Smallholders Association with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Riau Provincial Government, the RSPO, Carrefour Foundation International, and PT. Inti Indosawit Subur, a subsidairy of the Asian Agri Group. The Amanah Palm Oil Independent Smallholders Association’s 349 members manage 763 hectares of oil palm plantation in Riau Province, where approximately 1.1 million hectares of palm oil plantations are operated by smallholders.
Members of the association can already testify to the benefits of certification. Commented Haji Sunarno, Manager of the Amanah Association, “Before the trainings our average production was 20 tonnes per hectare per year. After the training, in the first four months of 2013 alone, we are enjoying a projected average of 24 tonnes over the year.”
Sunarno noted that the success of the Amanah Association had led to over 130 additional independent smallholders seeking to join the RSPO through the association. “At first, some of the smallholders were sceptical about the benefits of RSPO certification. Now they can see for themselves how our members have boosted productivity through enhanced cultivation techniques and now they want to join and become RSPO-certified independent smallholders.”