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What are Independent Smallholders?

Independent smallholders are self-managed and not tied to any particular company. Consequently, they often lack access to updated farming practices needed to improve productivity. Additionally, they might not have the financial resources to replant aging palms leading to lower yields.

The result is lower profitability and sustainability standards. Research from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, shows that independent smallholders’ yield can be as much as 116% below company plantations in Indonesia.

As smallholders depend on the forests and environment for their livelihood, it is essential to promote sustainable production of oil palm to ensure resilience and long-term economic growth.

Our Independent Smallholders’ Journey and Milestones

2015

Developing Indonesian
Palm Oil Development for Smallholders (IPODS), a Collaboration with IFC

2017

Establishing the Extension
Services Program (ESP)

2020

Establishing the Smallholders Hub

Our Independent Smallholders Program

Musim Mas has developed and implemented various programs to integrate independent smallholders into the palm oil supply chain since 2015. We engage these smallholders and assist them in adopting efficient farming standards as industrial plantations by having them complete training modules covering good agricultural practices (GAP) and No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) commitments. The programs also comprise of agronomic training, access to financial support and global markets, and education on legal requirements.

Through our proven experience working with IFC on independent smallholders, we are equipped and geared with the expertise to refine our program and curriculum further. Our approach to engaging the smallholders and curriculum has evolved as our program expanded, reflecting the challenges that smallholders are interested in or face on the ground.

Our modules mirror the RSPO’s Principles and Criteria (P&C) as we prepare them for RSPO certification. It categorizes the program modules within four pillars: Environment, Business Management, Social and Other challenges that smallholders may face in their journey towards sustainable palm oil. Check out our report for more details on each pillars.

Improving independent smallholders’ access to finance empowers them towards better profitability, social cohesion, and environmental protection. To facilitate this process, Musim Mas financed a working paper by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) to explore the prospect of providing green financing to independent smallholders.

Program Approaches

Our engagement approaches have improved year after year through trials, lessons learnt, and milestones. Today, we have consolidated our approaches into two main streams to improve the livelihoods of independent smallholders: Training for Smallholders and Training for Trainers: Smallholders Hub.

Our Independent Smallholders Program Locations

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Training for Smallholders Training for Trainers: Smallholders Hub

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