InfoSAWIT, PEKANBARU - Asosiasi Petani Sawit Swadaya Mandiri in District of Kuantan Singingi, Riau province succeeded to get the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificate for cultivating the palm oil plantation sustainably. It was officially given by RSPO to the manager group of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Mandiri in Bangkok, Thailand on 5 November 2019 in the 17th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT17).
Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Mandiri consists of five smallholder groups in Village of Sungai Buluh, Sub district of Singingi Hilir, District of Kuantan Singingi, Riau province, has 150,93 hectares (ha) of palm oil plantations which are independently cultivated by the people. The certification process started in December 2015 since the association had 76 members and joined the pre-audit in RSPO. After the external audit done by PT. TUV Rheinland on 21 September 2019, the association was announced to get the RSPO certificate in the independent smallholder category.
This is the second success for the smallholder groups in Riau for getting the RSPO certificate. Years before in 2013 Asosiasi Petani Sawit Swadaya Amanah in Sub district of Ukui, District of Pelalawan got the same for the first time in Indonesia. The same was got by Perkumpulan Pekebun Swadaya Kelapa Sawit in Rokan Hulu, Riau province for getting the RSPO certificate on 23 October 2019.
Group Manager of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Mandiri, Junaedi said that the international confession to the fresh fruit bunch (FFB) quality produced by the smallholders joined in Asosiasi Mandiri would open the better access for them.
The RSPO certificate would give chance to get other incentive because the sustainable product guarantee. It would guarantee that the products derive from the social and environmental cultivation and contribute to protect the ecosystem.
The policy to develop the people’s plantations since 1980s brought the economic progress fast to palm oil industries in Indonesia. Until 2018 palm oil plantations in this country reached about 16,83 million ha. 3,47 million ha were in the forest regions (GNPSDA KPK, 2018). Based on the data from ministry of agriculture (2018) the people’s palm oil areas reached about 5,8 million ha.
In Riau about 1,1 million hectares of palm oil areas were cultivated by the smallholders. 76% of the numbers were cultivated by the independent ones. The high potential to produce from the independent sectors should be followed by the good cultivation to be efficient and the intensification of the people’s plantations could give economic profits for the long term.
“By implementing the P&C RSPO, the smallholders as the members of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Swadaya Mandiri could be more efficient and safer to cultivate theirs for it is organized,” Junaedi said.
The smallholders of Asosiasi Mandiri got series of trainings to get the certificate. The agricultural counselors from the agriculture agency in District of Kuantan Singingi intensively trained them.
The agriculture agency, District of Kuantan Singingi did welcome the RSPO certificate to the smallholders. This is the first thing to develop and guide them intensively for the next days.
Head of Plantation, Agriculture Agency, District of Kuantan Singingi, Syofinal said that, ”It is not easy to get the certificate because there are many aspect of assessmen and development that involved many elements, such as, the government in the village, the association, the members, and the full supports from the head of agriculture agency, and the officers,” he said as in the official statement to InfoSAWIT recently.
Syofinal thought that the most important thing in the future is to make sure that the implementation of RSPO certificate. “The study to the effectiveness of cultivation implementation which has been noticed should be the spirit for other smallholders and could get the same as what Asosiasi Mandiri got,” he said.
“The certificate got by Asosiasi Mandiri is the implementation of the smallholders’ commitment to urge the international markets to get the sustainable and legal production and the smallholders themselves could get the profit in long term economy,” Smallholder Programme Manager, RSPO Indonesia, Guntur Prabowo said.
The independent smallholders are the important parts in palm oil industries in Indonesia. as one of the people’s organization, WWF-Indonesia also notices the development to the smallholders to develop the sustainable palm oil plantations and to increase their economy, such as the independent smallholders in District of Kuantan Singingi.
The plantation areas in the district are the connection (hub) between the forest and the conservation in the landscape. The development started in the midst of 2014 together with the agriculture agency of District of Kuantan Singingi and the smallholders did welcome it.
”We do hope that the independent smallholders who get the RSPO certificate or the kind could always develop to fulfill and support the quality of the commodity from Indonesia that the world would confess and of course within the environmental cultivation,” Sustainable Palm Oil Manager, WWF-Indonesia, Joko Sarjito said. (T2)