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Project to Improve Livelihood of Palm Oil Smallholders

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Palm oil production in Malaysia

Palm oil production in Malaysia

In an effort to support oil palm smallholder farmers toward improved livelihood and sustainable production, the United Nations Environment Project (UN Environment) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) signed a small-scale funding agreement.

The two-year project will distribute a total funding of $199,611—from the 10-year framework of projects (10YFP) Trust Fund administered by the UN Environment—and matching funding of $83,683—from RSPO—between smallholder farmers in the regions of Sabah, East Malaysia and Seruyan, Central Kalimantan.

An estimated total of at least 50,000 schemed and independent smallholders in Sabah will see improved livelihoods in addition to a set of four intervention activities to be trialed in 20 villages across the state. In Seruyan, an estimated more than 5,300 independent smallholders are expected to see an improvement of livelihoods, in addition to a development of an agricultural facility to provide direct support and training for capacity building for more than 1,000 smallholder oil palm farmers.

“Smallholders play a significant role in the supply chain, producing around 40% of the world’s palm oil, but suffer from lower yields, a lack of best management practices and ultimately struggle to achieve international market access,” said Yohanes Izmi Ryan, strategic projects director at RSPO.