Launch of Musim Mas Extension Services Programme

A common sustainability challenge for Musim Mas and other palm oil production and trading companies is the risk that independent smallholders pose on the issue of deforestation and land conversion. For many mills it is challenging to trace back to smallholder plantation level to identify risky suppliers, because FFB (Fresh Fruit Bunch) is supplied through multiple layers of traders and collectors. It is not efficient to analyse the chain-of-custody for each mill. Most importantly, traceability has no viable impact on the ground.

Musim Mas want to tackle the root of the problem and provide support independent smallholders. While the main objectives are closing the gap in yields between the independent smallholders and industrial plantations, the company’s experience has shown that support for these independent smallholders should go beyond yield enhancement to include social and economic guidance as a holistic solution. Hence, Musim Mas conceived their Extension Services Programme (ESP). This programme is described in more detail in an interview with Musim Mas General Manager for Smallholder Programmes and Projects. Based on risk assessments and mill questionnaires within the priority landscapes the ESP will focus on independent smallholder suppliers within specific districts, with work already starting in South Sumatra and the next launch to take place in Aceh. SHARP partners CORE (comprising of Daemeter and Proforest) are supporting the delivery of the ESP programme components on environment and social issues.