Smallholders contribute 35% of Indonesia’s palm oil output. However, there is little incentive for them to farm sustainably, and the industry will not change until they do. In this second of our two-parter on the issues surrounding palm oil production (the first, ‘The palm oil complex’, was published in Issue 879, April 29), we look at the barriers they face and what is being done to help them.
SINGAPORE (May 13): Fifty-year-old Agung Mujiono, an oil palm farmer in Indonesia, is seriously worried about the environment. Cynics may say he is a hypocrite, as he is a part of an industry that has been vilified as “the largest contributor to deforestation in Indonesia”. But Agung is truly concerned about the legacy he leaves behind.
“This planet and the environment is what our children will inherit from us,” he says when met by The Edge Singapore at his 8ha oil palm plantation in the village of Sukorejo in Central Kalimantan.