PalmOilMagz, JAKARTA – Multi-stakeholder institution - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Provincial Government of Jambi, district governments, and local organization agreed to get memorandum of understanding (MoU) to escalate smallholders’ inclusion in sustainable ecosystem through Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certificate scheme.
Jambi Province is as the pilot project. In 2021, Ministry of Agriculture showed that the smallholders in the province reached more than 290.000 housing. It became the third biggest independent smallholders after Riau and South Sumatera.
The MoU meant that there would be the same efforts to support many independent smallholders to be involved in sustainable palm oil markets because there were few of them who got sustainable certificate.
Data from Ministry of Agriculture showed that though the smallholders owned 40% of the total palm oil plantations in Indonesia, not more than 1% of independent smallholders got RSPO or ISPO certificates.
The MoU would provide helps and support in reverse to implement ISPO certificate for the independent smallholders in Jambi, and implement every available regulation in Indonesia. The MoU itself was announced on 11 May 2022.
Director of Plantation and Marketing Product and Process General Directorate of Plantation Ministry of Agriculture, Dedi Junaedi mentioned, ISPO certificate would deliver ways to get more sustainable palm oil production and collaboration with other stakeholders would be the future way to encourage the systemic sustainable change, and increase the competitiveness of palm oil plantations in Indonesia.
Head of Plantation Agency Jambi Province, Agus Rizal said, the minimal areas to plant, the low production by independent smallholders would deliver big opportunity to increase the sustainable palm oil production significantly from the available planted areas.
Senior Manager, RSPO Smallholder Programme Indonesia, Guntur Cahyo Prabowo, said, this would be the first pilot project of RSPO by advantaging the government’s policy to support the smallholders’ sustainable production by hoping that this would involve the effective and real concept.
Guntur continued, by having cooperation with the governments, and other sides including the scheme, standards, and initiative nationally, we would solve every structural obstacle for the planters and confirm consistently law enforcement to encourage the big scale changes.
“RSPO tries to bridge the governments ad other sides that may influence every policy, resource, and technical knowledge needed to advance the sustainable practice and policy,” he said.
The Issues in Planters’ Inclusion
RSPO and ISPO have the same issues to deliver incentive to every planter that produced sustainable palm oil. One of the issues is the condition to get official area registration before conducting certification process. It depends on the capacity and resources from the third sides that helped the planters (smallholders). The other issues were the complex conditions to obey documents to get legal areas when proposing the certification process.
“Apart from what has been running until now to involve and deliver incentive for the smallholders to adopt sustainable standards, this is not enough to encourage smallholders’ inclusion massively which is really needed to realize RSPO mission,” Guntur said.
“By the change of approach – one size fits all – to the strategy that focuses and oriented to the impacts, and formulated model within targets in the regions and major country, such as, Indonesia, RSPO would adjust the services that would be delivered to independent smallholders,” he said.
Knowing the issues, Board of Governor of RSPO urged RSPO secretariat to track the cooperation potential with the standards in national scale. RSPO secretariat proposed to get technical support for the smallholders to get certificate in national level. The support would help them namely in Indonesia to join the program to get area legal facility.
ISPO itself has its own capacity to support the smallholders to get legal areas for their plantations. But the regional authority still regulates the authority which in this case, they – smallholders need support to fulfill the standards nationally.
RSPO Board of Governor approved to deliver technical support allocation for the independent smallholders by using the standard nationally. The program implementation would need cooperation from many sides in Indonesia, namely in the province level.
“The collaboration with the regional government is the key to get the fix situation that could help and encourage the numbers of independent smallholders to join and implement sustainable palm oil practices. The MoU is about to help and encourage the cooperation and the smallholders could implement sustainable agenda by obeying the sustainable standards in national scale through ISPO certificate,” he said.
He also mentioned, it is clear that in designing the MoU, the government has the key of market transformation, the legal condition which becomes the burden to the independent smallholders.
RSPO is in cooperation with Jambi Province to facilitate data sample taking to fulfill the smallholders’ legal plantations; with Districts of Tebo, Tanjung Jabung Barat, and Sarolangun to coordinate and publish Cultivation Documents and Environmental Documents. Those parties would provide local facilitators to train, help the independent smallholders to implement sustainable practices based on ISPO standards. Non-government organizations in Jambi, such as, SETARA, would support the practice in the local level. (T2)