New technology to help smallholders avoid loss of HCV forest

SHARP partners Proforest, Daemeter and the HCV Resource Network are working with the World Resources Institute and Blue Rastar to develop a smart phone app that will help to reduce deforestation in smallholder supply bases. The app will facilitate the collection of information from smallholder farmers, like location of their farms, vegetation, presence of species, type of fertiliser used, etc.

The wider benefits of this project will include:

  • Providing smallholders with a simplified, user-friendly, accessible and affordable way to view and interact with mapping and risk assessment tools.
  • Create tools for companies to simplify their assessments and support their use in prioritising where and how to support smallholders.
  • Allowing smallholders practical, hands-on interaction in the field with other tools, such as RSS and simplified HCV for smallholders.

In due course the aim is to integrate existing assessment tools within the app and link it with other models and initiatives for assessment of environmental related risks in large smallholder supply bases.

This is a stand-alone project that runs alongside work, funded by RSPO, to developed simplified HCV assessment procedures for independent smallholders. But it is hoped that the app will in due course provide a platform through which smallholders and companies can access and use such tools in practice. As well as the simplified HCV assessment procedures, another tool that could ultimately benefit from such an app is the Smallholder Risk Assessment Model (SHRAM), that SHARP is developing with a consortium of Procter & Gamble, Malaysian Institute for Supply Chain Innovation, Felda, Wild Asia, Daemeter, Proforest and WRI. SHRAM is at an early stage of development but will aim to map and analyse a broader range of indicators, beyond HCVs, such as fires, presence of protected areas and proximity to water bodies.

To promote uptake of such technical solutions the project will seek to raise awareness and build capacity with local partner organisations that work directly with smallholders.

Technology and data can make it feasible for smallholders to meet responsible production requirements and access markets

Access to technology and data can make it feasible for smallholders to meet the responsible production requirements of downstream supply chain actors in order to access markets that are not only more discerning, but also more profitable and reliable. SHARP is excited to be coordinating this innovative approach to enable smallholders to minimise deforestation and other environmental impacts in their production while potentially gaining access to a wider market.

Photo: Proforest