Dutch finance solutions for sustainable palm oil win competition

14 October, 2016

Dutch finance solutions for smallholder farmers sustainable palm oil win competition

As part of the SWIT Challenge nine innovators with breakthrough solutions to help Indonesia’s independent smallholder farmers produce sustainable palm oil have been chosen out of a pool of more than 70 international applicants to pitch their ideas to leaders in business, forest conservation, international development and government.

One of the winners finalists is a group of innovators from Stanford University (USA) and a consortium consisting of SNV (Netherlands), Financial Access (Netherlands), and Akvo (Netherlands), Bentang Alam (Indonesia) and Forest Carbon (Indonesia). Eelko Bronkhorst (Financial Access): “We offer solutions to help smallholders obtain affordable, more timely financing in a scalable, sustainable and efficient manner. Using a combination of in-depth data analysis, risk modelling and credit scoring technology we believe we have jointly developed an affordable model that will enable access to finance for potentially tens of thousands of independent oil palm farmers in Indonesia”  

Palm oil is critical to Indonesia’s economy and provides income for many people living in poverty, including independent smallholder farmers. Smallholder palm oil farmers represented 42 percent of the Indonesian market in 2014, and are predicted to reach 50 percent in 2020. “Yet, it is difficult for these micro entrepreneurs to have access to finance, especially for replanting”, said Bronkhorst.

Finalists will present their proposals to organizations including Bank Mandiri, Golden Agri Resources, Cargill, KEHATI, Mondelez, World Resources Institute and a number of investors and banks in Jakarta on November 17 and 18.  The innovations are designed to make sustainable, more profitable palm oil production within reach for Indonesia’s independent smallholders. Bronkhorst: “The goal is that innovators will explore possibilities of mutual cooperation to achieve the widest possible impact.” 

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