PELITA Seruyan Agricultural Facility to Provide Smallholders with Easier Access to Training and Agricultural Inputs

March 12, 2018. Indonesian oil palm smallholders face a number of challenges, such as limited access to certified seeds, training, fertilizer, and other agricultural inputs. Despite making up to 44% of the total area under oil palm cultivation, smallholders account for only 27% to 38% percent of the country’s total palm oil production. There is currently lack of support from the government or companies for independent smallholders who cultivate oil palm. In order to reduce environmental damage while improving the welfare of farmers, it is important that we ensure that independent smallholders cultivate oil palm sustainably and productively (INOBU, 2016)

In order to tackle those issues, on Monday (February 19, 2018), the Seruyan District Government, together with UNEP’s Ten Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP), RSPO and INOBU signed a declaration for the creation of the PELITA Seruyan Agricultural Facility. The facility is being built to improve smallholder productivity and livelihoods. Representatives from PT Musirawas Citraharpindo, the Indonesian Farmers Association (HKTI), farmer groups (Gapoktan), and farmer cooperatives also attended the event. The stakeholders also held a meeting the previous Saturday (February 17, 2018) at the Aquarius Boutique Hotel, Sampit, Central Kalimantan, discussing the technical plans to create the facility.

The agricultural facility will provide easier access to training and agricultural inputs. Additionally, besides providing knowledge on sustainable agricultural practices, the facility will connect locals with financial institutions in Seruyan. This will, in turn, enable access to low-interest loan disbursement and other financial services. Currently, the facility will assist oil palm smallholders, but the model is hoped to be expanded to accommodate smallholders from other commodities.

After its completion, the facility will soon provide the “Training of Trainers (ToT)” to 100 people and improve the capacity of farmers and smallholders by directly training 500 people. Then, the facility plans to provide access for financing, marketing, seeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural equipment.

With the creation of the facility, INOBU is assisting Seruyan’s initiative to support Central Kalimantan’s Roadmap to Low-Emission Rural Development (2013), focusing on oil palm. The initiative is part of the implementation of Central Kalimantan’s Provincial Regulation (Perda) No. 5/2011 that provides the legal basis for ensuring sustainable plantation development in the province. INOBU is supporting Central Kalimantan’s efforts for sustainable oil palm that is free from deforestation and conflict.

Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)
Seruni Soewondo