We are dedicated to providing solutions for palm oil smallholders to improve their yield potential aiming to prevent further expansion to high conservation value areas and increase family income
Oil palm represents this country's primary revenue source, and perhaps more importantly, it provides profitable livelihoods for smallholders. About half of global palm oil production comes from Indonesia.
Smallholder plantations comprise about 44% of the total 12 million ha (2016) of Indonesian oil palm plantations. The estimated average fresh fruit bunch yield (FFB) in large plantations is 20 t FFB/ha/year, and in smallholder plantations, is 13 t FFB/ha/year, which is well below the yield reported for top-producing oil palm blocks, which is close 30 t FFB/ha/y.
Hence, there is a large gap between the current oil palm yield and the yield potential as determined by climate and soil, suggesting significant room for increasing palm oil production in existing plantation areas.
Improving the yield potential is necessary, especially for smallholder plantations. Smallholder plantations are also associated with deforestation due to massive expansion to forested areas and a lack of agronomy knowledge and skills.
Bentang works with smallholders to implement better oil palm management practices, from seedlings, land management, nutrient application, etc., to reach the yield potential. We recorded the yields at every harvest, took samples of the soil and leaves, and measured the vegetative growth of the palms.
Our intervention is at least for 2 primary fields:
Provide training and technical assistance to smallholder oil palm plantations for best management practices application
Develop a model showing smallholders how to improve their yields through best management practices application