Smallholder farmers play an important role in the palm oil industry and contribute approximately 41% of the palm oil in the world. As of March 2022, there are more than 9.9 million hectares that are indicated as fields for smallholder farmers globally (Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, Ghana, and Colombia). From those numbers, 4.5 million hectares (in Indonesia and Malaysia) have already been listed as land parcels, and 189,000 hectares are where the identities of the farmers are confirmed with field knowledge.
Empowering Independent Smallholders through Land Legalization is an initiative aimed at providing legal recognition and security of land ownership to independent small-scale farmers. By granting land titles and legal status, this initiative ensures that these farmers can access resources, credit, and markets more easily, ultimately leading to improved livelihoods, economic stability, and the sustainable development of their communities.
Earthqualizer with PT. Inovasi Digital, a company that has a comprehensive database of palm oil dealers, through field verification during the POD survey, found that a small number of independent smallholders are associated with cooperatives, but most of the cooperatives are inactive, and a large number of independent smallholders sell the fresh fruit bunch to Palm Oil Dealers (POD). Therefore, we assist the smallholder in directly engaging the market and other related stakeholders to ensure inclusivity in the supply chain and market access.
Our smallholder dataset includes and recognizes the following stratifications:
- Provision of smallholder plot data: the areas that are assessed as potentially owned and/or managed by independent smallholders
- Smallholder legal compliance: supporting related legal, social, and environmental aspects following the NDPE framework, certification, etc.
- Field verification and support for legalization: the areas owned by registered smallholders with confirmed identity (NIB/Business Identification Number or estate lot number).
- Traceable smallholders: the areas of independent smallholders that can be traced from their buyers, including the palm oil dealer survey and verification.
- Stakeholder/government and market engagement.
- Field verification and support for Best Management Practices (BMP) / Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for smallholders.
Our smallholder dataset offers unprecedented visibility into the presence and footprint of these supply chain actors. The data can be used to inform corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and landscape-level interventions, helping businesses maximize the value of their programs for local stakeholders efficiently.