The Track of Musim Mas’ Partnership with Independent Smallholders

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The Track of Musim Mas’ Partnership with Independent Smallholders

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – To support sustainable palm oil plantation practices up to landscape, one integrated palm oil plantation company, Musim Mas established Indonesian Palm Oil Development for Smallholders program. The goal is about to protect environment and the way to increase the people’s economy, namely independent smallholders.

In 2015 Musim Mas and International Finance Corporation (IFC) established Indonesian Palm Oil Development for Smallholders and did approach to independent smallholders in District of Labuhanbatu, North Sumatera Province, then in District of Rokan Hulu, Rokan Hilir, and Pelalawan, Riau Province.

To reach more independent smallholders in Indonesia, Musim Mas also develops Smallholders Hub. It is about to get range expansion in Aceh Province, Indonesia.

By Smallholders Hub, Musim Mas developed field counselors to increase their capacity about good agricultural practices. Field counselors will train independent smallholders namely in Aceh Singkil, Aceh Tanjung, and Aceh Subulussalam.

Manager of Independent Smallholder Musim Mas, Rudman Simanjuntak said, the company starts implementing partnership with planters, namely independent smallholders because of sustainability policy in the company and commitment to increase the welfare of planters, workers, and people.

To realize the commitment of the company, Musim Mas developed independent smallholders to implement sustainable palm oil practices. “It is hoped, they will get increasing plantation production which will impact to their income,” Simanjuntak said.

“Musim Mas is committed to conduct 100% supply chain traceability to ensure that fresh fruit bunch (FFB) supplies both from partners and smallholders will have the same traceability level,” he recently said to InfoSAWIT.

There are some strategies to develop independent smallholders, such as, developing their confidence and communication among the planters. The company tries its best to change planters’ mindset about good agricultural practices.

“We also take planters to understand and implement good agricultural practices, develop collaboration among related instances to realize Sustainable Palm Oil National Action Plans,” Simanjuntak said.

Independent smallholders’ development program by Musim Mas also covers training about best management practices (BMP) according to sustainability principles to get sustainable certificate both in Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) schemes.

The partnership program is the way of the company to support every stakeholder in crude palm oil (CPO) supply chain.

Manager of Perkumpulan Pekebun Swadaya Kelapa Sawit Rokan Hulu (PPSKS ROHUL), Ikhsan Gunawan said, since Indonesian Palm Oil Development for Smallholders was established by IFC and Musim Mas in District of Rokan Hulu, they now understand about sustainable and good agricultural practices.

When it started, the group got trainings about how to fertilize, pest and disease control, nurse plantations, and harvest well. “We were directly developed by field assistants of IFC team and the agronomist of Musim Mas to see and identify our plantations,” he recently said.

The smallholders were trained and getting insight about RSPO certificate, RSPO principles and criteria (P&C). They were taken to commit and join RSPO P&C.

“On 12 October 2018 we officially established Perkumpulan Pekebun Swadaya Kelapa Sawit Rokan Hulu which covered 10 villages in 4 sub districts. We were developed by IFC and Musim Mas’ teams. In 2019 we got RSPO certificate for the first time,” Ikhsan said.

Manager Asosiasi Pekebun Swadaya Kelapa Sawit Pelalawan Siak (APSKS PS), Joko Prasetyo, said that the cooperation between smallholders and the company was only in development program, not in partnership to sell their FFB to the company.

At the time, independent smallholders in Siak were doubtful to join IFC and Musim Mas’ program. They suspected, by conducting partnership, the company would take advantages from smallholders.

But as time goes by, smallholders in Siak understood what IFC and Musim Mas developed in the program. It really helps and increases their economy.

Source: InfoSAWIT , November 2021