Reflecting on the past five years (2013-2018), since the RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) was established, the Secretariat is pleased to share that this fund has provided funding to programs supporting 18,100 smallholders across five major oil palm producing regions: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Africa and Latin America.
Why was RSSF formed and how does it help smallholders?
RSSF was initiated to assist smallholders in getting RSPO certified, reducing cost implications through funding that could be used across three main categories: Certification, Audit and Impact. To achieve this, in November 2012, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) approved the setup of the RSSF governed by the endorsed RSSG Governing Policy (approved by the BoG in April 2013) and funded by the annual allocation of 10% of CSPO income to support smallholder certification.
From 2013-2018, RSSF received a total of 101 applications and has approved funding for 39 smallholder projects. A total of RM 20.1 million was disbursed to smallholders during this period, 80% of which was utilised for Certification activities, followed by Impact activities (19%) and Audits (1%). The RSSF has to date benefitted 18,100 smallholders, who collectively manage a production area covering 105,898 hectares of land in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Africa and Latin America.
The AMANAH project in Indonesia
One of the RSSF-backed smallholder projects under the certification category is with Amanah Palm Oil Independent Smallholders Association (AMANAH), in the Pelalawan District in Riau, Indonesia. According to the group manager, Narno Saryoto, in addition to being able to sell their fruit directly to the mill, the smallholders now have a better understanding of the environmental impacts of their farming methods and are now preserving riparian zones and High Conservation Value (HCV) areas.
RSSF funding allocation according to RSPO Smallholder Strategy
In an effort to further improve current practices and the approach to increasing smallholder inclusion into the RSPO system, RSSF funds will be redirected towards the implementation of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy. RSPO will finalise the new direction of the funds in June 2019, followed by the endorsement of the Smallholder Standing Committee and the Board of Governors (BoG).
To learn more about how you can support smallholders, please visit www.rsep.rspo.org/ and to know more about how to buy RSPO Credits from Smallholders, please visit http://rspocredits.org/; for more smallholder stories, please click here.