The RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) provides financial support for oil palm smallholders to help improve their livelihoods 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.

Overview of how RSSF works

Who can apply for the 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?

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.

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