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Cargill unveils sustainable palm oil production initiative in Malaysia

FBR Staff Writer Published 25 June 2013

US agribusiness company Cargill has launched an innovative independent oil palm smallholder sustainability support program in Malaysia.

The three-year program, which has been launched in partnership with Malaysia-based social enterprise Wild Asia and the international non-governmental organization, Solidaridad, will provide technical assistance, training and capacity building to over 2,500 independent oil palm smallholders.

It is focused on sustainable palm oil production through partnerships with independent smallholders, palm oil dealers, mills and refiners.

Cargill stated that the goal is to help smallholders employ sustainable palm oil production practices, to bring about higher oil palm fruit yields and increase farmer incomes.

The program is in line with the government's efforts to help smallholders and independent millers meet sustainable palm oil production standards in Malaysia.

Cargill Palm Products managing director Chai Wei Joo said that this multi-party, independent oil palm smallholder program is a significant milestone for progressing smallholder development towards the adoption of sustainable practices.

"Smallholders who are constrained by resources need the right training and support to learn how to increase their productivity and become sustainable."

"In addition, we also want to leverage all stages of the oil palm supply chain towards sustainable palm oil production - from independent smallholders, dealers and mills, to refiners and finally to the end users," Joo added.

Wild Asia will provide technical management to support and certify the independent smallholders to RSPO standards.
In Malaysia, there are about 177,000 independent oil palm smallholders with a total planted area of 692,000 hectares, which represents 14% of total oil palm planted area in Malaysia in 2012.