Countries with palm farming include both big-scale farmers and smallholders. However, the big holders are attached to some controversies on either their way of acquiring the land or child labor. The story can, however, be rewritten. Knowing these palm oil facts will enlighten you on what can be done on the same.
Indonesia is one of the leading countries in palm production
The country has overlooked the idea of small scale farmers. The smallholders can harvest up to a quarter of the annually harvested palm oil in that country. And this is expected to rise in the next decade. By producing more, they will be a solution to the palm oil struggles experienced when the states or large companies produce it.
Have the smallholders certified as sustainable by the RSPO( Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)
Smallholders, since independence, have not been receiving adequate information on how to better their production. They are never trained and barely receive any help from the national government. Lack of training and help from both the government and the big companies leads to their production stagnating.
This needs to change if we need any improvements in production. Information is power. They will only get certified if they are well trained to produce high-quality products.
Training smallholders of the best agricultural practices
The small palm owners need to be trained in the best agricultural practices. Been taught the best will ensure that they do not beat around the bush while farming. And this will increase their yields.
Rescue small scale farmers from the exploitation of middlemen
The smallholders are unable to access the mills directly. They thus rely on intermediaries to get their produce there. These middlemen, however, end to take advantage of them and exploit them. Middlemen are pocketing all the dough and giving farmers peanuts. These need to stop for farmers to produce sustainable oil. They would be encouraged if they got better value for their toil.
Been given support funds by the government
Most of the smallholders are living below poverty levels. They need funds to be able to come up with a successful project. The farmers can be helped by being given high yields palm plants to take the low yielding ones. The government can also pay for replanting palm trees as it is not a cheap exercise.
In conclusion, smallholder farmers are indeed crucial in making the palm oil industry sustainable. If this is correctly done, they will comfortably meet the global demand for palm oil in the next few years.