As a smallholder


Support fund

The RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) provides financial support for oil palm smallholders to help you improve your livelihood through sustainable agricultural practices.

With this support, RSPO aims to help smallholders increase their yields and remove obstacles to reach international markets. The Fund’s objective for smallholders is to reduce the negative impacts of oil palm cultivation on ecosystems and improve livelihoods, creating a space where palm oil, local communities, and the environment can coexist in harmony.

Find out more about how the RSSF works, which smallholder groups can apply, and what activities can be funded in the video below.

The next RSSF Call for Submissions will be in 2024. The One-off Audit Cost is open throughout the year. Apply now by sending your application to [email protected].

Overview of how RSSF works


Who can apply for the RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF)?
  • An independent smallholder group in the oil palm sector seeking financial assistance
  • Groups or organisations that have proven experience of working with smallholders
  • A legal entity 
  • Groups or organisations with sufficient experience working with smallholders applying on behalf of a smallholder group, with a clear intention of supporting them
  • Organisations who wish to support and promote the production of sustainable palm oil


What can the RSSF be used for?

For application templates, please follow this link RSSF Call for submissions 2023

  • Certification Project
    • Activities preparing smallholders for certification such as paying for Better Management Practices (BMPs) training, initiating a documentation system, or strengthening the organisation’s Internal Control System (ICS).
  • Livelihood Project
    • Capacity development for smallholder groups that promote livelihood improvement at group level. This includes supporting group formation or group strengthening such as the establishment of cooperatives and systems to manage the groups [e.g. Internal Control System (ICS)/Internal Management System (IMS)], training implementation for Best Management Practices (BMPs) including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), social, environmental practices, developing and/or enhancing business skills.
  • One-off Assessment Project
    • Specific assessments required for RSPO Certification such as High Conservation Value (HCV) High Carbon Stock (HCS) full assessment and related facilitation costs, as well as assessment for certification readiness such as Gap Assessment.
  • One-off Audit Cost
    • 100% of the audit costs of all potential certification processes of independent smallholder groups, with the option to include one surveillance audit for each applicant. The funding does not include Pre-Audit Assessment.


Can an organisation submit more than one application?

An organisation can submit more than one application provided they:

    • Meet the eligibility criteria
    • Do not overlap project activities and objectives in the different proposals they are submitting.
    • Clearly support different beneficiaries with the project activities and their objectives if more than one proposal is being submitted for the same type of project.
    • Can clearly demonstrate having the capacity to handle multiple projects and the funding amount proposed.


Can I appeal if my application was not approved?

All decisions by the Smallholder Fund Panel are final and cannot be appealed.


Can I revise and resubmit my application if it was not approved?

Except for the One-off Audit Cost, which is open throughout the year, all other project applications will not be accepted until the next round of the RSSF Call for Submissions.


Reference Documents

RSSF Call for Submissions 2023 (now closed)

RSPO Smallholder Strategy

RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) Governance Policy – June 2022


What can I expect after submitting an RSSF application?

Applications closed on 28 February 2023. All applications received will be reviewed by the RSSF Fund Manager before being shared with the RSSF Panel for consideration. The RSSF Fund Manager will thereafter communicate the outcome of the decision. Please expect to receive a decision from the RSSF Fund Panel within 12 weeks after Call for Submissions closes on 28 February 2023.

Submission of Application / Proposal
Smallholders / Group Manager
Appraisal review and assessment of application proposal
Fund Manager and Regional Representative(s), where present
Up to 6 weeks upon receiving application
Decision of application
Fund Manager, Regional Representative(s), Smallholder Fund Panel (SFP), where present
Up to 4 weeks from appraisal review
Note: Unsuccessful applicant(s) can resubmit proposals and will be treated as new applications.
Announcement of decision to applicants
Fund Manager and Regional Representative(s), where present
Up to 2 weeks from decision
Contracting of grant agreement
Fund Manager and Regional Representative(s), where present
Up to 8 weeks from decision
Fund Manager or Regional Representative(s)
As and when RSPO and fund recipient to arrange monitoring

RSSF by the numbers

These are the regions where the RSSF has directly supported its Independent Smallholder beneficiaries since 2014.

* Data as of February 2020

No of individual SH benefitted
Collective total size of farms (ha)




Latin America












Photo Credit: RSPO/PT. BGA