At present, the area cultivated by independent palm oil smallholders in Indonesia reaches 4.7 million hectares
or approximately 41% of all oil palm plantations, with Crude Palm Oil (CPO) production reaching 11.3 million
tones for 2016. This counts for a significant proportion of the overall palm oil industry in Indonesia.
Unfortunately, this high level of production had not led to an increase in the standard of living of small-scale
farmers in general. Independent palm oil smallholders still have to deal with a number of fundamental issues
such as land legality, low productivity, and difficult access to financing sources.
Among the important steps that must be taken to improve the condition of self-owned plantations are
mapping the palm oil smallholders’ land as well as collecting their socio-economic data. The clarity of
land location could be a prelude to improving the land legality aspect and planning the improvement of
plantation conditions jointly with smallholders. Smallholder mapping and socio-economic data is
also important for decision-making processes by local and national decision makers, while these are also
important in minimizing conflict between parties that may occur in the field.
In addition to the official mapping effort by the government, such as the effort by the National Land Agency (BPN) in the framework
of land ownership certification, or by the Plantation Office in the framework of issuing Certificates of Farm Registration, mapping
of palm oil smallholder lands has also been done through multistakeholder collaboration with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs),
regional extension / facilitator groups, palm oil companies that collect community fruit harvests, universities, and others. The
number of independent initiatives continues to increase and in the future, it is likely that more and more smallholder land will be
mapped. Anticipating the continued effort in smallholder land mapping, this
module is designed to provide reinforcement to the understanding and general guidance of mapping of palm oil smallholders.
The Smallholder Union (SPKS), in cooperation with Winrock International and WRI Indonesia, has developed two documents
that are expected to strengthen the mapping and data collection of palm oil smallholders, which are divided into two modules:
Module 1: Technical Guidelines for Palm Oil Smallholder Survey in the Framework of Palm Oil Smallholder Characteristic Studies,
and Module 2: Participatory Mapping Guidelines for Palm Oil Smallholder Plantations.