By Brad Rantayy
MIRI, Sept 20: The government is committed to helping oil palm smallholders obtain Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) Certification for sustainable palm oil production and increased fresh fruit bunches (FFB) productivity.
According to Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commoduties II Datuk Willie Mongin, assistance is also provided to smallholders in the form of MSPO Certification fees, training related to MSPO and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“As of July 2022, the smallholder oil palm plantations that have obtained the MSPO certificate amounted to 1,368,350 hectares or 84.33 percent of the total 1,514,753 hectares of smallholder plantation area nationwide,” he disclosed on Tuesday in Miri when officiating at the 2022 National Oil Palm smallholders Conference.
The bi-annual conference saw the participation of plantation operators and development agencies involved in oil palm cultivation, aimed to increase the dissemination of the latest information and discuss the development and direction of the oil palm smallholder sector.
Nearly 500 oil palm smallholders nationwide are taking part in the three-day conference which kicked off since Monday (Sept 19).
Willie pointed out that today’s conference provides an opportunity for smallholders to get the latest information on the use of technology and quality agricultural practices to increase oil palm yield.
“This year’s themed ‘Sustainable Practices, Assurance of Prosperity’ conference highlighted the roles of nearly 450,000 smallholders who are involved in cultivating almost 30 per cent of the country’s oil palm plantation area and the government through the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (KPPK) is committed to ensuring their progress,” Willie said.
In the context of smallholder development, the Sustainable Oil Palm Growers’ Cooperative (KPSM) was established as a strategic move by the government to guarantee an increase in members’ income such as the sale of FFB in groups and the purchase in bulk.
“The sale of FFB in groups by KPSM is able to contribute to the increase in the sale price of palm fruits by smallholders which is estimated at RM50 per tonne or around 10-15 percent compared to sales through palm fruit traders,” Willie pointed out.
Until July 2022, a total of 69 KPSM have been established throughout the country, namely 24 in the Peninsula, 27 in Sabah and 18 in Sarawak.
Meanwhile, a total of 66 KPSM weighing centres have been fully built throughout the country.
Also present at the conference were the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) director-general Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir and MPOB chairman Jugah Muyang@Tambat. — DayakDaily