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Independent Farmers On-board the Smallholders Program
An ex- government officer and a banker leave their professional careers for oil palm farming and gear up for their twilight years. Batu Pahat, Johor — After spending over five decades as a Government Officer, Haji Sapuan took over and fully managed his family’s farms not just as a reward for him but also to help secure his twilight years.

Haji Sapuan was in the agriculture industry prior to his retirement, and now he runs a combined 13 hectares of oil palm farms owned by him and his siblings. When he was invited to join the P&G Smallholders Program, Haji Sapuan heartily accepted it, a decision that will help him on the journey to achieve the RSPO certification and qualify for the livelihood improvement initiative.


The Center for Sustainable Small-owners (CSS) was established with P&G strategically partnering with MISI, a member of the MIT Global SCALE Network to further its commitments on responsible sourcing of Oil Palm.


CSS is under the Center for Sustainable Value Networks (CSVN) a Center of Excellence delivering on various P&G Initiatives for the past five years.

Under the program, the farms that have been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) would be allowed to enjoy a premium upto RM 20 per MT of the fresh fruit bunch (FFB) offered by P&G on top of the market price. This will be an additional 8 to 10% of revenue per metric ton of FFB produced.

55-year old Tukimin is another independent smallholder farmer. He used to work with a commercial bank. He left the corporate world after 32 years to engage full time with agriculture. He believes it was the right decision for him, but he also admits that engaging in palm oil farming, wasn’t an easy start.


A year ago, Tukimin’s knowledge of oil palm farming was greatly enhanced when he joined the P&G Smallholders Program delivered by CSS. Through the involvement with the program, he notes that the productivity of his oil palm fruit increased adopting the good agricultural practices (GAP) he learnt from CSS Field Days.

The GAP concepts were taught and demonstrated during CSS Field Days which has covered several topics, including fertilizer application, frond placement, general weed control, Ganoderma management, etc. He also has the confidence to try other business models like livestock farming along with oil palm.
Today both Haji Sapuan and Tukimin are also the founding members for the Independent Smallholder Association, PERTANIAGA. It has 107 members and 130 farms and was established to support independent smallholders to improve the quality of oil palm through RSPO and MSPO training and certification.