Following the success of the first smallholder knowledge exchange programme in November 2018 in Sabah, another round of knowledge exchange took place in Seruyan, Kalimantan, earlier this year, which focused on government support of jurisdictional certification efforts. It involved 19 participants from Sabah, including smallholders from the Malaysian state, as well as staff members of Forever Sabah; the organisation facilitating the RSPO Jurisdictional Certification pilot in Sabah.

The participants visited two smallholder groups in Seruyan, who completed their RSPO certification audit in March 2019, under the support of the RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF). The group learnt about the smallholders journey towards RSPO certification and shared information about the Integrated Control System (ICS). They also shared how their farming practices have improved with the implementation of the RSPO Principles and Criteria.

The participants were also introduced to the government-run agricultural facility that was set up to support smallholders through capacity building exercises. To date, the facility has conducted three batches of “Training of Trainers” (ToT) programmes for 100 smallholders. The participants were also introduced to the financial support model for smallholders, which is a five-year programme initiative to ensure its perpetuity.

Inovasi Bumi (INOBU), arranged for a meet and greet session with Bupati Yulhaidir, the Regent of Seruyan. Bupati Yulhaidir acknowledged the programme and shared his thoughts on the key pillars for success for jurisdictional certification, being government support, the role of the private sector, and the responsiveness of smallholders.

The programme ended with a visit to an RSPO certified smallholder plantation, KUD Tani Subur. KUD Tani Subur was certified in December 2017 (with the support of RSSF) and had just completed its first surveillance audit. The participants visited a recreational park built by KUD Tani Subur, called Agrowisata Education, as part of its initiative to be more financially independent. The income generated from the recreational park will be used to cover costs of subsequent surveillance audits as well as to prepare the smallholders for the replanting period.

The knowledge exchange programme is part of the project supported by United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) under its Small Scale Funding Agreement (SSFA). Both Seruyan and Sabah are pilot areas for the RSPO’s Jurisdictional Certification. The RSPO hopes to continue creating opportunities for smallholders to share knowledge through its existing initiatives, such as the “Linking and Learning” programmes.  

For more information, kindly contact RSPO’s Senior Strategic Projects Executive, Dillon Sarim at [email protected].

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