2016 in MALAYSIA: Proctor & Gamble (P&G) - IPNI Oil Palm Smallholder Initiative

Project code: MYS-07

P&G sources certified sustainable palm kernel oil (CSPKO) in Malaysia. Oil palm independent smallholder (OPISH) farms (<100 acres) are among the suppliers of oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB) as raw material for P&G’s CSPKO. These OPISH farms produce low FFB yields mainly due to poor management. P&G asked IPNI for collaboration to support a yield intensification program for OPISH in Johore, Malaysia, which will focus on closing gaps in FFB yield, farmer knowledge, 4R nutrient application, and fertilizer supply chains.

Implementation is between 2017 and 2020 in Malaysia.

Treatment overview:
Selected farms are developed as model farms, and processes for intensification and training programs and knowledge products (brochures, videos and similar) developed around and with them. Improved crop recovery and harvest, improved agronomic management and 4R nutrient management are at the core of the engagement. Soil and plant sampling is done in all farms. Results are used for a 4R-based nutrient management plan and to monitor improvements in nutritional status. Fertilizer supply chains will be developed to provide the right fertilizers for the model farms at the time when they need it. Comparing model farm yields against that of check farms and on-farm post-harvest audits provide measures of effectiveness. SEAP will work with P&G’s partners, and a P&G supported resource center, to develop scaling processes from model to other OPISH farmers. An IPNI member company will likely participate in developing a fertilizer supply chain to support OPISH farmers.

Results to date:
In Q1-2016, a field audit covering 32 OPISH farms confirmed current low FFB yields due to poor planting materials, poor agronomic and nutrient management (sub-optimal nutrient management, particularly lack of potassium), and poor harvesting or crop recovery. Based on this, SEAP executed a first proof-of-concept (PoC) for improved crop recovery (ICR, higher frequency of harvesting) in two pilot regions with a total of 11 volunteer farms in 2016, which improved FFB yield during a high crop period by about 30% higher in one, and about 50% in the other region, respectively. In 2017, an improved productivity phase will start, in parallel to ICR.

This program should generate significant benefits for OPISH farmers who constitute ca. 15% of the total oil palm cultivated area in Malaysia. Other non-independent or organized oil palm smallholders, constituting ca. 25% of the total oil palm cultivated area in Malaysia, could also benefit indirectly. P&G, IPNI and partners will make a difference to smallholders in this ambitious endeavor.

More about: Southeast Asia Projects