- Many independent oil palm smallholders threaten to become alienated from formal markets because they lack the technical capacity and/or resources to comply with public and private sustainability standards.
- Since resolving compliance barriers will require targeted interventions, it is becoming increasingly important to better understand the types of barriers faced by different types of smallholders.
- This brief presents preliminary findings of research on sustainability, legality and productivity challenges arising from independent smallholder oil palm expansion in Riau, Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan.
- Research demonstrates how frontier expansion is often driven by larger out-of-province and absentee farmers that engage in oil palm for investment purposes rather than by smaller farmers (e.g. less than 3 ha) dependent primarily on household labor.
- Findings show how smallholder legality issues – faced especially by smallholders whose oil palm operations more closely resemble that of businesses – constitute the most significant compliance challenge.
Topic: oil palms, public sector, private sector, small businesses, investment
Series: CIFOR Infobrief no. 182
Publisher: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia
Publication Year: 2017Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.