Thursday, 4 August 2016

Tanoto Foundation and UNDP Support Oil Palm Farmers’ Empowerment and Enhancement of Live Quality

Jakarta, August 4, 2016 – The agriculture sector plays a crucial role in Indonesia’s economy. In 2014, agriculture contributes to as much as 13.38% of Indonesia’s Gross Domestic Product, ranking third after Manufacturing and Trade sectors. As the backbones of Indonesia’s economy, farmers should be able to maintain sustainable income and live in prosperity as well as independently.

Data from BPS – Statistics Indonesia in 2013 showed that, from 10.46 hectares of palm oil plantation in Indonesia, 4.36 hectares (41.63%) are managed by smallholders. Productivity wise, smallholder plantations contribute 10.01 million tons (36.03%) to the overall national production. The productivity of community-managed plantations is lower than that of privately- or state-managed plantations. The productivity of smallholders farmers needs to be increased by improving their capacity to implement good agriculture practices.

At the same time, global consumers also demand products that are certified to guarantee the quality and sustainability of oil palm products. Smallholders need the support so they can facilitate and simplify the process so certification process could be faster and more efficient.

As such, on Thursday, August 4, 2016 in Jakarta, Tanoto Foundation and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement to facilitate oil palm independent smallholders to improve their productivity and livelihood.

In this collaboration, UNDP activities include advocacy with relevant stakeholders at provincial and national levels to support efficient and timely certification process. Meanwhile, Tanoto Foundation’s activities include school improvement program, strengthening farmers cooperatives, provision of clean water facility and health services to communities, and development of center of excellence to facilitate the certification process for independent smallholders.  Asian Agri, which is the corporate partner of Tanoto Foundation, will also provide training on good agricultural practice and mentoring to farmers.

Sihol Aritonang, Head of Tanoto Foundation Executive Board said, “Tanoto Foundation was established by Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto to support poverty alleviation in Indonesia. To do that, Tanoto Foundation works with national and international institutions.”

“We also have collaborated with UNDP before. In February this year, Tanoto Foundation signed an agreement to carry out a pilot project on formulation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the provincial and district levels in Indonesia. Riau Province has been selected as the place for the project and activities are carried out there. We believe that the continuation of our collaboration with UNDP will support palm oil farmers to improve their income and enhance their quality of lives,” said Sihol Aritonang at the end of his remarks.

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