A Profile of Small-scale Oil Palm Farmers and The Challenges of Farming Independently


The sustainability of global palm oil supply chains depends on being able to determine who is producing palm oil, where they are cultivating it and how it is being cultivated. The traceability of palm oil supply chains is complicated when they involve independent, small-scale oil palm farmers. In contrast to plantations, or plasma farmers, little is known about independent oil palm farmers, including where their farms are, how they farm and to whom they sell their produce. Independent farmers cultivate oil palm mostly without support from the government or companies, which affects the quality and quantity of the fresh fruit bunches they produce. Ensuring that independent, smallscale oil palm farmers cultivate oil palm sustainably and productively is an integral step in reducing the environmental harm caused by oil palm cultivation. To achieve that goal, we need to study these farmers and where they are. This study aims to contribute to improving the understanding of independent, smallscale oil palm farmers in Indonesia. For consistency, we refer to independent, small-scale oil palm farmers as independent smallholders in this report