ICOPE 2018 Emphasizes The Importance of Palm Oil Smallholders Empowerment

Press Releases 26, Apr 2018

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


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

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