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ICOPE 2018 Emphasizes The Importance Of Palm Oil Smallholders Empowerment

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 3 minute read GAR 0 Likes

BALI – 26 April 2018 | The International Conference on Oil Palm and The Environment (ICOPE) 2018 underlines the importance of palm oil smallholders empowerment to support the future of sustainability practices. There are many efforts that have been made, including the development of a National Action Plan (Rencana Aksi Nasional/RAN), smallholder empowerment in preventing forest fires, and a palm oil replanting programme.

Rini Indrayanti, National Plaftorm Manager for UNDP Indonesia, explained that the capacity development of
palm oil farmers is important in supporting the sustainability of the industry. Together with the Agriculture
Ministry of Indonesia, UNDP has formed a sustainable palm oil forum called Forum Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan
Indonesia (FoKSBI) to ensure sustainable practices in the palm oil sector.

“FoKSBI has drafted RAN where it involves the capacity development programme of smallholders. RAN is
developed together with multi-sector stakeholders from the palm oil industry and the plan is currently waiting
for a letter of approval from the steering committee to be adopted in a clear policy umbrella,” said Rini. She added that RAN has been implemented in 18 provinces from 2018 – 2023, with financial support from state budget, regional budget, Palm Oil fund, CSR fund and more. The development of RAN can be a guidance that can be adjusted with several goals within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). RAN also aims to support the government effort to obtain 70% palm oil certification by 2020.

Meanwhile Rosyani, lecturer and researcher from Jambi University, explained the strategy to maintain RSPO
certification for palm oil smallholders. The palm oil industry is a hot topic in around the world, therefore sustainability in production is needed.

Through research done by Rosyani with the Tanjung Sejati Farmer Group in Jambi, she found that their main
motivation to maintain certification (such as RSPO) is the mutual strength to be independent. “By obtaining
certification, the farmer group gets support from external partners in things such as education. Moreover,
buyers from big companies are also more inclined to buy products from the farmer group with certification,”
she said.

In the same discussion, Susanto Yang, CEO of Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food for plantations in West Kalimantan, explained the importance of smallholder palm oil empowerment through a program called Desa Makmur Peduli Api. “This programme was initiated in 2016, initially named Desa Siaga Api. In the beginning, we wanted people, especially palm oil smallholders, to be more aware and ready towards fire. And later in 2017, the programme evolved to become Desa Makmur Peduli Api, where it is also looking into improving people’s welfare,” he said.

Susanto added that Desa Makmur Peduli Api involves local communities in three villages by providing socialisation, education to youths, and development of integrated ecology agriculture to improve the palm oil farmers’ welfare. “This program also gives incentives for selected villages that achieve their targeted infrastructure development aligned with their,” he said.

Co-Chairman of ICOPE 2018, Haskarlianus Pasang, said smallholders are one of the main topics of discussion at
ICOPE 2018 because of the importance of the farmer’s role in the transformation of the industry.

“More than 40% of palm oil farmers in Indonesia are self-employed farmers, so they are key to achieving a sustainable industry. Industry players from the private sector have had breakthroughs and implemented various programmes in sustainable practice, but it is very important that the programme or breakthrough can be accessed by smallholder farmers. We hope that through this session, industry players will participate in empowering these smallholder farmers so that overall industry transformation can be faster,” said Haskarlianus.

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ABOUT ICOPE 2018
International Conference on Oil Palm and Environment (ICOPE) 2018 is a bi-annual international conference
dedicated as a scientific platform for the development of sustainable palm oil to meet the environmental challenges. ICOPE is carried out by the collaboration between Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia, and CIRAD France. The upcoming ICOPE is scheduled to take place in The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua – Bali from April 25-27. For more information visit our website: www.icope-series.com and get the latest update by following our twitter @icope-series

For Media related questions, please contact:
Wulan Suling
[email protected]

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