SMILE Escalates Independent Smallholders’ Economy

SMILE Escalates Independent Smallholders’ Economy

InfoSAWIT, MARO SEBO ILIR – Three advance palm oil plantation companies - Kao Corporation, Apical Group, and Asian Agri delivered sustainability initiative “SMILE” or “SMallholder Inclusion for better Livelihood & Empowerment Program” for 151 independent smallholders in Maro Sebo Ilir, Jambi Province.

PT Inti Indosawit Subur, the business unit of Asian Agri and Perkumpulan Putra Tunggal Bukit Sangkilan signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help independent smallholders to increase productivity, get international certificate, and get premium price from their certified palm oil trade.

Not like plasma smallholders which are technically and financially supported by plantation companies, independent smallholders stand by their own financially and they often do not have enough skills and limited resources to cultivate theirs.

SMILE tries to increase their income by escalating technical knowledge capacity and help the ways to get Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificate. Since it was launched in October 2020, the program delivered advantages for 697 independent smallholders in North Sumatera, Riau, and Jambi.

Sustainability Manager Apical, Fitria Kurniawan said, independent smallholders took part about 30% of palm oil production in Indonesia. That is why it is important for Apical to help facilitate their inclusion into global supply chain sustainably.

“By collaboration and partners’ supports, such as, Asian Agri which got years of experiences with smallholders, we are committed to connect their gap of knowledge to increase their welfare. We also develop environmental and responsible supply chain responsibly,” Kurniawan said, as in the official statement to InfoSAWIT, Tuesday (11/1/2022).

Regional Head Asian Agri in Jambi, Ramli Simarmarta said, for more than 34 years, Asian Agri has been developing smallholders’ capacity by conducting sustainable guidance about the best practices. “By SMILE, we want to reach more smallholders to get certificate, deliver knowledge how to optimize the production and outcome without new planting by choosing and planting superior seeds, help develop infrastructures to increase their income and welfare,” Simarmata.

While Chairman of Perkumpulan Putra Tunggal Bukit Sangkilan, Sabki Saputra said, SMILE delivers the positive for independent smallholders. “By the program, we are developed, trained about sustainable palm oil cultivation to get Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificate, and premium price after getting RSPO certificate. We do hope, the cooperation would always run and hopefully, more independent smallholders would join the program,” Sabki said. (T2)