Meet the SAWIT Challenge Finalists

Nine innovators with breakthrough ideas for sustainable palm oil:

Cadasta Foundation & Humanitarian OpenStreetMapping Team

Location: USA

Lead: Kate Chapman

Cadasta provides an integrated suite of open-source mobile and web tools to collect, manage, and store data on people and their relationships to place in order to expand the benefits of documented land and resource rights. By documenting and validating smallholders’ land use and occupancy through working with a trusted and experienced local partner in the Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team (HOT), this solution seeks to incrementally increase security of land and resource rights, even in the absence of a formal title. Importantly for the smallholder oil palm sector, Cadasta technology also helps fills the current void of data from behind the farm gate. This enables the Cadasta Platform to also be applied towards smallholder land and productivity mapping, supply chain payment systems, as well as sustainable product traceability.


EcoHub Global

Location: Singapore

Lead: Alistair Douglas

EcoHub provides a free mobile application that serves as an information and communication hub for smallholders. The app will provide real-time pricing information from mills, maps to agricultural input vendors, information on good agricultural practices, as well as the ability to communicate with buyers, processors, and cooperatives. The solution is on an open-source platform, leveraging existing technologies to consolidate previously fragmented content and data sources. EcoHub will collaborate with development programs, NGOs and government agencies to reach, teach, and engage smallholder farmers in a process to overcome digital literacy barriers to increase the usability of this solution.

Indonesian Oil Palm Research Institute (IOPRI)

Location: Indonesia

Lead: Dr. Abdul Razak Purba

Illegitimate oil palm seeds combined with improper cultivation techniques lead to lower yields for smallholder farmers. IOPRI’s Program Sawit untuk Rakyat (PROWITRA) program offers tools to improve farming inputs and help smallholders increase crop yields and productivity by providing them with access to high quality oil palm seeds, planting materials and technical assistance. IOPRI works directly with smallholder communities to identify the most appropriate interventions for high quality seedling distribution, such as mobile sales facilities and development of local franchises or outlets, and provides technical assistance on the ground.


Location: The Netherlands

Lead: Simon Ulvund

Landmapp provides smallholder farmers with access to affordable land documentation, unlocking opportunities to access finance and support sustainable production. They work directly with smallholders and use mobile technology to map the land, collect data, and complete legal paperwork, which is then submitted to the BPN through their partnership with an official land surveyor. This model empowers the smallholder as the customer in this for-profit enterprise, and offers land documentation at lower than the current market price.

PT Koltiva

Location: Indonesia

Lead: Ainu Rofiq

PT Koltiva’s PalmOilTrace offers up-to-date market and price information, geographic mapping of farms and other supply chain actors, smallholders financial risk assessments, and access to land certification and voluntary sustainability standard certification. Using PalmOilTrace, farmer organizations, traders, and processors within the palm oil supply chain have a single tool to address all needs for a transparent and traceable supply chain according international standards.

PT Pandawa Agri Indonesia

Location: Indonesia

Lead: Kukuh Roxa Putra Hadriyono

PT Pandawa Agri offers an adjuvant produced from local materials, called the Weed Solut-ion, which increases the effectiveness of herbicides, resulting in the need to use less of them. This product has the potential to reduce the use of herbicides by 50 percent, and specifically may reduce the use of Paraquat, a substance that is banned, yet remains prevalent in the oil palm industry.


Location: USA

Lead: Leonardo Bonanni

Sourcemap provides a cloud-based traceability platform that combines data collected in the field with monitoring and evaluation dashboards to give producers, traders and brands real-time insight into the productivity, sustainability and social practices across the end-to-end palm oil supply chain. This platform provides a mutually beneficial tool that helps smallholders to better manage their crops, helps farmer organizations manage extension efforts, and provides buyers with reassurance on the provenance and the risk associated with each batch of product received.

Stanford University

Location: USA

Lead: Joann de Zegher

Innovators from Stanford University offer a solution to help smallholders obtain affordable, more timely financing: Early Cash Payments to Achieve Sustainable Smallholder Palm Supply Chains. Stanford’s SAWIT Challenge solution offers a supply chain incentive of 10 percent price premium for smallholder farmers who comply with buyer sustainability policies, only passing on a small portion of the cost to buyers. The price premium comes from allowing smallholders to be paid for fresh fruit bunches delivered to the mill, as opposed to either waiting for delayed payment or selling to middlemen at highly discounted prices.

The Transitioning Smallholders to Sustainability Initiative (TSSI) - Consortium

Location:  Bentang Alam (Indonesia), Forest Carbon (Indonesia), SNV (Netherlands), Financial Access (Netherlands), and Akvo (Netherlands)

Lead: Eelko Bronkhorst

Over 1 million independent smallholders have ageing oil palm trees, which leads to reduced productivity, and often results in expansion (deforestation). Replanting farmlands with improved planting material can increase farmer income by up to 60% once trees become productive, but smallholders systematically lack access to finance to do so. TSSI has developed an integrated and highly scalable replanting investment scheme for independent smallholders, complemented by tested innovations in (mobile) technology, mapping, monitoring, data sourcing, training in good agricultural practices, farmer credit risk scoring and loan structuring.