Increasing yield, crops and livestock integration

The general objective of SustainPalm is to contribute to saving land, reducing biodiversity loss and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the production of palm oil. This should be associated  with increasing revenue per hectare to merit the investment and to avoid further expansion for oil palm plantations. The topic “Increasing yield, crop and livestock integration” focuses on three strategies:

  1. Increasing oil palm yield per hectare through better management practices (BMP)
  2. Integrating crops or other tree species in oil palm plantations
  3. Integrating livestock in oil palm plantations.

The three strategies can be applied at all stages of oil palm growth. At conventional oil palm planting densities,integration with crops is most suitable at replanting and the few years after.  Permanent integration with crops or for instance coffee  trees will require design of new oil palm planting patterns. Soon after replanting weeds can already be harvested to feed livestock in stables. Palm trees need to be older and taller before cattle can graze in the plantation without eating the trees. Increasing yield through best management practices is possible to achieve throughout the entire lifespan of oil palm plantations.

SustainPalm aims to show proof of concept of the three strategies, thereby reducing the need for the use of herbicides, pesticides and inorganic fertilizers, fostering the maintenance of soft weed understory growth, and adding carbon stocks through non-oil palm trees. The mechanisms used to achieve this are using grazing as weed control, recycling of oil palm and intercrop residues and animal manure to increase the soil organic matter, increasing water holding capacity of the soil, as well as reducing run-off. In all oil palm systems effects on the performance of the palm trees will be monitored as this is for smallholders and companies the main source of income. The programme aims to develop business models for each strategy for oil palm smallholders as well as larger plantations.

Activities will be implemented in the following locations :

For more information please contact:

Maja Slingerland –

Ika Sumantri –

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