FONAP Project


At a glance

Project Phase I
Project Phase II


Natural growing methods and digital technology

Transparent supply chains – PalmoilTrace – FarmGate app

The smallholders with whom we work in Malaysia produce sustainable palm oil with RSPO certification, the world’s leading sustainability standard for palm oil. They harvest their crops using the most basic tools and a small transportation firm gathers the fruit bunches, with the truck driving from plantation to plantation, including those of non-certified growers. Where are the certified goods of our growers?

Plantation owners must be able to answer this question in order to retain their status as certified palm oil producers. What was once a cumbersome and arduous exercise in paper documentation is now taken care of by smart digital technology. In our project, we support selected smallholders with expertise and a smartphone app.

The PalmoilTrace – FarmGate app from the company Koltiva is used to record the transactions of certified smallholder producers and palm oil distributors and allows certified palm oil to be traced seamlessly. This is what we are currently doing to help promote greater transparency in the global supply chain.

Sustainable production – cultivation methods with natural enemies

The new phase of our project also builds on the experiences gained in the first phase. The smallholders will receive further training in the use of more sustainable cultivation methods, including the use of organic fertiliser. Demonstration fields are being set up on plantations for training purposes, with wasps, rather than pesticides, now fending off pests.

Cooperation with Wild Asia and WWF

Cooperation with Wild Asia and WWF

FONAP members are using all of these measures to actively support the promotion of more sustainable cultivation methods in the countries of origin. The new phase will run for one year and is being conducted as part of a cooperation arrangement between FONAP, WWF Germany and Wild Asia.

The Malaysian NGO Wild Asia has extensive training expertise in the sustainable palm oil production sector and is already working with 335 smallholders. The Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS) was founded in 2012. As part of this programme, Wild Asia works with independent smallholders to support them in improving their farming practices and complying with national and international standards (such as Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)). Smallholders are farmers with fewer than 40 hectares of farmland. WAGS is also a community development initiative that aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholders by helping them increase their yields and ensuring access to the international market for certified sustainable palm oil.


Project Manager Dr. Reza Azmi (Wild Asia) talking about our FONAP Project

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Findings from phase 1 – Dr Reza Azmi – FORUM for Sustainable Palm Oil

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The significance of the PalmoilTrace FarmGate app for the palm oil supply chain

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Expectations of Dr Reza Azmi and project phase 2 – FORUM for Sustainable Palm Oil


Testing the FONAP add-on criteria

The FONAP-WWF-Wild Asia Cooperation
The first phase of our smallholder project in Malaysia, ‘Impact of the FONAP Add-on Criteria on Small Producers in Malaysia’, was a partnership between FONAP, WWF Germany and the NGO Wild Asia. All FONAP members have financially supported the first phase.

FONAP has developed add-on criteria for sustainable palm oil production. These involve use of fewer pesticides and improved soil fertility. Part of the project was devoted to smallholders in the Malaysian state of Perak testing the applicability and practical feasibility of the FONAP add-on criteria on their smallholder farms. The first phase ran from July 2018 to July 2019. During the project term, our cooperation partner Wild Asia trained and monitored the smallholders.

Key findings from phase 1

The FONAP smallholder project has helped the smallholders involved develop a better understanding of the importance of biodiversity on and in their soils. The smallholders have shown that organic production without the use of pesticides is possible and can even lead to higher yields. Initial evidence has also been gathered that diversification of farming can have a positive impact on soil fertility and income. Dependency on synthetic fertilisers/pesticides can be reduced, and in the medium to long term the conditions can be created for switching to organic production.  


What do the smallholders say about the first project phase? You can meet four of the plantation owners involved here.






Die erste FONAP-Projektphase im Video

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The FONAP project in video