Edy Sukamto, the Deputy Head of Partnership at Asian Agri, independent smallholders hold the potential to become a powerful asset for the company's future plantation business. Credit: Palmoilmagazine.
Palmoilmagazine.com, RIAU – According to Edy Sukamto, the Deputy Head of Partnership at Asian Agri, independent smallholders hold the potential to become a powerful asset for the company's future plantation business. However, the main challenge in establishing a partnership with these smallholders is to group them and create a single organization or institution. This is important because a unified group can better negotiate with the plantation companies and increase their bargaining power.
Edy Sukamto added that smallholders need assistance in managing their plantations and improving their productivity. To address this issue, Asian Agri has established partnerships with smallholders through the Smallholder Inclusion for Better Livelihood and Empowerment (SMILE) program. Through this program, smallholders can access training and support in sustainable practices, increasing their productivity and profitability.
He also said, it needs to get efficient fertilization by suggesting the smallholders to implement 4R, which stands for, right in time, right in doze, right in application, and right in target.
SMILE proram until now successfully gets partnership with 628 independent smallholders within the plantations that laid about 1.665 hectares.
"In 2030, Asian Agri Group targets to get partnership with 5000 independent smallholders,” Edy said to Palmoilmagazine.com, Wednesday (10/5/2023) in Riau.
Before having partnership, the independent smallholders mostly go 15 tons of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) per hectare per year. When having partnership their plantation productivity could reach 20 tons FFB per hectare per year.
The company also suggest to apply fertilizer namely every kind of fertilizer that the company has researched before.
He continued in the beginning, partnership program with independent smallholders started by developing and delivering counseling for them. After that it developed to join Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificate to get through SMILE.
"The main advantage of SMILE Program is about to welfare independent smallholders in the future,” Edy said. (T1)