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Collective action in a smallholder oil palm production system in Indonesia: The key to sustainable and inclusive smallholder palm oil?

Collective action in a smallholder oil palm production system in Indonesia: The key to sustainable and inclusive smallholder palm oil?

Indonesian smallholder oil palm generally yield much less than corporate plantations. We analysed a smallholder oil palm production system in West Sumatra which outperformed its nucleus estate plantation, consistently producing yields far above the national average for over 25 years. Its institutional setup allowed farmers to combine the advantages of smallholder and plantation agriculture by capitalizing on collective action. Collective action design principles (Ostrom, 1990; Cox, 2010) are used to assess the institutional setup of a smallholder production system. This case study demonstrates that with a strong institutional arrangement, smallholder oil palm farmers can participate in supply chains on advantageous conditions and substantially increase productivity, thereby contributing to both rural development and land sparing.

Authors: Jelsma, I.; Slingerland, M.; Giller, K.E.; Bijman, J.

Topic: oil palms, small businesses, plantations

Geographic: Indonesia

Publication Year: 2017

ISSN: 0743-0167

Source: Journal of Rural Studies 54: 198-210

DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.06.005

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