A More Sustainable Indonesia

Our thanks to the innovators and Council Members who participated in SAWIT. We encourage you to learn more about them and follow their progress as they work to help smallholders cultivate sustainable palm oil.

Bahasa Indonesia website

How would you help independent palm oil farmers in Indonesia work more efficiently and sustainably?

SAWIT is a new partnership working to identify and foster breakthrough ideas that help independent smallholder farmers produce palm oil sustainably.

We bring together stakeholders across business, government and NGOs to identify, support, and adopt innovations.

Who Are Smallholders?

Independent smallholder farmers typically own, lease, or claim less than 25 hectares of land. They do not have supply contracts with mills, as opposed to contracted, or plasma farmers who receive extension services from mills and have assurances that the mill will buy their harvest at a negotiated price.

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Why Now?

Indonesia’s palm oil industry is at a crossroads. The Indonesian government recently said it will stop giving out new permits for oil palm plantations. Now is the time to think creatively about how to make the most of current resources to increase yields.

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What’s at Stake

Indonesia is the largest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world.

With palm oil exports bringing in $19 billion a year, the pressure is on to grow more, faster.

Many farmers use traditional land clearing and growing practices that are not efficient or sustainable.

As more and more forest is converted to palm oil, millions of tons of carbon and other greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.

Indonesia is now the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.

SAWIT means “palm oil” in Bahasa Indonesia, and here it also stands for Smallholders Advancing with Innovation and Technology.

The name reflects our commitment to putting local communities at the center of the solution.

Our goals are ambitious and we need your help to achieve them.

The Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD) and the Oil Palm Smallholders Union (SPKS) with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invite you to submit your ideas for helping independent smallholder farmers produce sustainable palm oil.

Stay tuned for more information about the open call for innovations and to get involved.
Contact us at sawitchallenge@gmail.com with any questions.