Gapoktan Tanjung Sehati:
Adopting a culture of sustainability
Gapoktan Tanjung Sehati, a farmers' organisation in
Jambi Province, was established in 2009 to promote
sustainable oil palm cultivation, and to help smallholders
overcome such problems as underpricing, lack of
knowledge on responsible agriculture, limited market
access and reliance on middlemen.
Applying RSPO Principles and Criteria, earning their
RSPO certification, and reaping the benefits of their hard
work through RSPO Credits has helped the group look
beyond simple technical knowledge and adopt more
innovative sustainable practises, such as mainstreaming
organic fertiliser from cow dung, and institutionalising a
culture of mutual aid and cooperation in the community.
Now, with the support of RSPO and other NGOs, the
organisation is reaching out to train other farmers in
Jambi Province, to help build capacity-and to spread
From cultivation to conservation
Local farmers in Merlung and Renah Mendaluh Subdistricts had to encroach on the protected Bukit 30 National Park because of lack of cultivation knowledge, unsustainable practises, and low quality yield in oil palm fresh fruit bunches. RSPO reached out to the farmers, who banded together and worked diligently to pursue RSPO Certification and introduce sustainable practises laid out by RSPO.
Earning RSPO Credits also led to recognition from the government and palm oil markets for the farmers' produce. Beyond realising the benefits of sustainable oil palm cultivation, however, smallholders also gained a new perspective on natural resource management as part of the bigger picture, moving them to declare two kilometres of rivers as sacred sites, thus protecting the areas from further degradation.
For these farmers, it has been a fruitful journey from responsible agriculture, to taking full responsibility for caring for their environment by the hand of RSPO.