Indonesia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil. Since 2015, palm oil is the largest contributor to the Indonesian foreign exchange reserves (Statistics Indonesia, 2016). Oil palm plantations in Indonesia have vastly developed since the development of state plantations in North Sumatra. Until 1984, large-scale state and private plantations dominated the development of oil palm plantations. However, since 1979, the Indonesian government has started to develop smallholder plantations. Since then, smallholder oil palm plantations have continued to grow and currently account for around 40% of the total oil palm plantations in Indonesia. With such a significant size, smallholders must become an inclusive part of the global supply chain. Currently, the involvement of oil palm smallholders is very minimal.

Various parties have conducted studies on smallholder inclusiveness, including researchers from USU and CIRAD. This seminar is a joint activity between the Consortium Studies on Smallholder Palm Oil (CSSPO), the Faculty of Agriculture of USU, the International Affairs Office of USU, and the TKP3IS PUI of USU, CIRAD, IFI, and Alliance Francoise. This seminar aims to disseminate the results of studies by Dr. Diana Chalil from USU and Dr. Emmanuelle Chenys from CIRAD on smallholder inclusiveness. CSSPO is a consortium of studies on oil palm smallholders from Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU), Universitas Jambi (UNJA), Universitas Malikussaleh (UNIMAL), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Prince of Songkla University (PSU). CIRAD is an agricultural research institute in France that focuses on sustainable development of the tropics and the Mediterranean. CSSPO and CIRAD have been working together since 2016 and held a joint conference in Kuching, Sarawak, in July 2018.

Researchers from USU, UNJA, UNIMAL, PPKS, PERHEPI, the North Sumatra Provincial Plantation Service, PTPN3, SMART, GAPKI, Conservation International (CI) NGO, Pusat Pengkajian dan Perlindungan Anak (PKPA), APKASINDO, and SAMADE attended this seminar, totaling to 75 participants. The 3rd Vice-Rector of USU, Drs. Mahyuddin K. M. Nasution, M.I.T. Ph.D., opened this event, followed by remarks by Anne-Lise Mercier of Alliance Francoise. The panel session started with an opening speech by Prof. Alain from CIRAD and Dr. Bayu Krisnamurthi from ISA Initiatives IPB. Following this, Dr. Diana Chalil from CSSPO USU explained the results of a study on the inclusiveness of Indonesian oil palm smallholders from the aspect of ownership, voice, risk, and reward, with a follow-up discussion on the voice of oil palm smallholders in the RSPO Roundtable by Dr. Emmanuelle Cheyns of CIRAD. The discussion was followed by a question-and-answer session to hopefully produce a solution to increase the inclusiveness of smallholders in the global value chain. Finally, the seminar team distributed souvenirs, photos, and lunch to all participants.

Presentation materials can be downloaded at the following link: Inclusive Palm Oil Global Supply

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