To Support Smallholders’ Empowerment

Doc. InfoSAWIT
To Support Smallholders’ Empowerment

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA -Many smallholders are in progress to implement the best and sustainable palm oil practices. Though there are issues to implement, many smallholders and companies keep improving the best and sustainable palm oil practices.

Empowering smallholders also needs supports from others particularly from government and companies. Smallholders still face big issues to implement the best and sustainable practices. On the other hand, smallholders also difficult to get fund supports.  

Smallholders that have palm oil about more than 42% in national scale need supports from many. That is why it needs to empower them to realize sustainable palm oil plantations in the future.

What President Joko Widodo told some time ago to develop palm oil downstream industries could be meant as the way to holistically and sustainably develop palm oil industries. This is the way to develop palm oil to have added values in the domestic.

To realize it, the main condition to do is to empower upstream sectors, palm oil plantations. If they are sustainably developed, downstream industrial development would be easy to realize because material supply is part of successful key.

One initiative from the government is by conducting smallholders replanting program (SRP). As national strategic program, SRP is about to increase plantation productivity and maintain plantation width. By increasing productivity, there will be increasing harvest production by optimizing the areas.

The Government of Indonesia targeted, SRP would cover 540 thousand hectares in 2020 – 2022. It will be in many regions, such as, Sumatera about 397.200 hectares (ha), Java about 6.000 ha, Kalimantan about 86.300 ha, Sulawesi about 44.500 ha, and Papua about 600 ha. In 2021, the target of SRP lays about 180 thousand ha that will be having fund support Rp 30 million/ha, within 4 ha maximally for every smallholder.

SRP is important for smallholders in Indonesia to make theirs more productive in the future. That is why it needs supports from many to cooperate sustainably to empower them.

Plantation Agribusiness Development Deputy Assistant, Coordinator Ministry in Economy, Edy Yusuf said, the government has empowered smallholders and their organizations to develop themselves to get access on what their needs (modal, technology, agro-input, seeds), and partnership development between them and stakeholders in kinds of upstream to downstream sectors.

Edy said, the activities covered, such as, the first, education, training, and internship; the second, development of technology and institutional implementation; the third, gathering SRP fund to sustainable business; the fourth, empowering institutions to support and develop palm oil; the fifth, partnership with big private/government companies with groups to accelerate SRP.

“It needs synergy of policies between government institutions - legislators and central and regional government to make palm oil plantation as economic vehicle in national and regional level. There should be coordination and synchronization among stakeholders, step by step,” Edy said in webinar Focus Group Discussion (FGD) Sawit Berkelanjutan Vol. 10, with the theme “Mendukung Pemberdayaan Perkebunan Sawit Rakyat”, that InfoSAWIT conducted, Thursday (18/11/2021).

Director of Fund Raising, Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA), Sunari said, the massive smallholders replanting program (SRP) should be realized to help independent smallholders improve their plantations more sustainable, qualified, and would minimize new illegal planting risks (land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).

He also mentioned, SRP covers four aspects, the first is the legal meaning, independent smallholders taking part in the program should have legal areas. The second is the productivity meaning the standards to realize if joining SRP would cover the plantations that have fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production less than 10 tons per hectare per year. “Including the smallholders’ plantation with tree density less than 80 trees per hectare,” Sunari said

The third is the sustainability meaning SRP should follow sustainability principles which cover, land, conservation, environment, and institution. The four is Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certificate fulfillment by confirming sustainability principles. He continued, every participant in SRP should get ISPO certificate in the first harvest.

PFMA noted, the plantations to run SRP potentially lay about 2,78 million hectares belonging to plasma and independent smallholders; the plantations from Perkebunan Inti Rakyat – Perkebunan (PIR – Bun) covers 0,14 million hectares and from PIR Trans/PIR Kredit Koperasi Primer untuk Anggota (KKPA) covers 0,37 million hectares.

But the practice that the government proposed still faces issues. Executive Director of Indonesian Palm Oil Association, Mukti Sardjono said, the issues area, smallholders’ plantations within less productivity are massive to get SRP while annual target of SRP should lay about 180 thousand ha.

Lebih lanjut kata Mukti, dana PSR yang disediakan sebesar Rp 30 juta hanya cukup sampai masa Tanaman Belum Menghasilkan (TBM)1. “Lantas bagaimana dengan dana sampai masa tanaman menghasilkan (TM)1, bagaimana dengan sumber pendapatan pekebun selama tanaman belum menghasilkan?” tutur Mukti.


Mukti also mentioned, SRP fund about Rp 30 million would be enough until the first yet productive – plantation. “The question remains, what about fund to the first productive plantation? Where do the smallholder get the fund in unproductive-time?” he said

The other issue is the legal namely plantations that have been identified in forest regions because some plantations were the former areas of perkebunan inti rakyat (PIR) and transmigration. Sadly, Undang-Undang Cipta Kerja just regulates, people’s plantations should be less than 5 ha and they should live around theirs. “What about those having plantations far from their living? What about area purchasing/substitution of ownership (former PIR), and what about the factories having no plantations?” he asked.

He continued, IPOA has done series of activity by making SRP acceleration taskforce. It involves IPOA branches to conduct assessment, potential area mapping, those who want to join SRP around the branches, and do update of replanting progress.

IPOA is also the member of Data Reinforcement Working Group and Planter Capacity Enhancement led by Coordinator Ministry in Economy, actively does regular coordination to SRP acceleration with Coordinator Ministry in Economy, General Directorate of Plantation, suggest input to the government about simple policy to proposal process and SRP fund acceleration.

“We do cooperate with smallholders/planters’ association to SRP acceleration (partnership is conducted by making memorandum of understanding, focus group discussion, others, monitoring, updating regularly, namely for IPOA members by conducting regional and central meeting,” Mukti said.

General Secretary of Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS), Mansuetus Darto said, smallholders’ empowerment is always out of target. It could be said as ‘saying one thing and doing quite another’.

It needs full commitment from stakeholders to empower independent smallholders. In fact, 20 districts/cities committed to implement regional action plans which actually could be delivering benefits for palm oil plantations.

“It is pathetic to see what smallholders face. There is no realization in best management practices,” Darto said

In the future, he continued, every palm oil promotion needs to show field outcome with real and concrete samples. “It is better to maximize fund to support districts to develop sustainable palm oil plantations, and the support to regional action plans for it has been regulated in national action plans,” Darto said.

This is important and useful to create positive promotion, trade promotion, sustainable palm oil promotion as the proofs of best management practices to get much better palm oil plantations and products from Indonesia.

“It needs to improve and get solution for every issue, not only about plantations in forest regions, but people’s plantations in other usage areas. We need to get it done. It needs to reveal how many smallholders have achieved Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certificate,” he said

About FGD Sawit Berkelanjutan:

FGD Sawit Berkelanjutan is interactive discussion among palm oil stakeholders in national scale. It presents many sources from different backgrounds to deliver their opinions about palm oil existence. The goal is to deliver right understanding about palm oil in its contribution and existence for the country, social, and the environment.

Diskusi Sawit Bagi Negeri was supported by Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (PFMA), Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA) and strategic media InfoSAWIT and Palm Oil Magazine. It involves many stakeholders, such as, the government, planters, researchers, organizations, social and environmental activists, and others to discuss and devlop better palm oil plantations in Indonesia.

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