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SLKS Delivered Independent Smallholders Get the First RSPO Certificate in Indragiri Hulu



SLKS Delivered Independent Smallholders Get the First RSPO Certificate in Indragiri Hulu

InfoSAWIT, INDRAGIRI HULU - 304 independent smallholders joining in Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Karya Serumpun, in District of Indragiri Hulu, Riau Province became the first smallholders’ group in the region that successfully got Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificate.

This is the program in cooperation among Widya Erti Indonesia (WEI), Unilever, dan Daemeter Consulting that ran in 2017 to 2019 by having Sekolah Lapang Kelapa Sawit (SLKS) approach to help the independent smallholders to implement good agricultural practices (GAP). After one cycle implementing SLKS, 35 alumni of SLKS who had gifted and wanted to develop themselves, were trained about facilitators, facility technic, and institution.

Then manage their concern about facilitators namely the difficulty to get fertilizers, unstable price of fresh fruit bunch (FFB), and being in debts to middlemen, the facilitator smallholders agreed to establish Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Karya Serumpun in 2019.

In 2020, WEI Riau and Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Karya Serumpun started to implement and empower their sustainability practices.

Cahyo Risambodo of WEI Riau told, “The empowerment project is needed as the way to help them to increase their sustainability project to be ready to join RSPO process.”

 

The Advantages of Getting RSPO Certificate

As part of the program, the smallholders signed documents of commitment to implement Principles and Criteria (P&C) RSPO and other related indicators. Besides, Internal Control System (ICS) team was also established to monitor the group, including making Pengendalian Hama Terpadu (PHT) unit, where high conservation value (HCV) still exists, and other important factors to make sure that they can obey the regulation in RSPO.

But one main challenge they faced was about legal land ownership. Few of them did not have legal on their land. This is the main condition to get RSPO certificate. It was because it was expensive to get legal land documents, and complicated administration process. In the process, WEI Riau supported them to get official documents (such as, surat keterangan tanah/ SKT or SPORADIK) on their plantations that enable them to continue their certification process.

In August 2021, RSPO certification audit process ran. The results showed that 304 of 825 smallholders as the members of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Karya Serumpun officially got RSPO certificate on 1 December 2021 that laid about 584,09 hectares.

Cahyo mentioned, the members of the groups got advantages by getting RSPO certificate. They improve the plantation management both in the nursery and productivity, increase their economy too. For the certification process needs official land documents, the smallholders got it by providing Surat Pernyataan Kesanggupan Pengelolaan dan Pemantauan Lingkungan Hidup (SPPL) and Cultivation Documents that put where the coordinates of their plantations were.

Chairman of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Karya Serumpun, Juliono mentioned that it was challenging to take other smallholders to do more sustainable practices.

“Days before, they did not understand what RSPO is. Some members even asked the advantages if they implement it,” he said.

But Juliono mentioned, by socializing the program, concept, understanding the advantages if they got RSPO certificate, the members of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Karya Serumpun agreed to follow it up.

“After many developments, they finally get better understanding about the good nursery, fertilization, pest, disease control, and the way to get good FFB harvest,” he said.

“It is very useful if we implement RSPO certification. Our palm oil plantations would be better and have increasing production. The smallholders’ plantation values would be higher and we have clear and legal areas,” Juliono mentioned.

The other positive point for Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Karya Serumpun is that there are much more members – from 200 to be 825 and 304 of them got RSPO certificate.

Though not all of them get RSPO certificate, Juliono continued, his side would keep socializing the program to others and ask them to implement sustainable palm oil practices to get certification in the future. (T2)

 

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