MPOB spent RM50 mln to develop Sarawak’s palm oil industry, says Willie

Willie (standing) speaking during the programme while MPOB director-general Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir (left) and the ministry's senior secretary (palm and sago industry development division) Chua Choon Hwa (right) look on.

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KUCHING, March 29: Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) spent about RM50 million on various research and development projects to enhance the development of the palm oil industry in Sarawak.

Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Willie Mongin, said the implementation of these projects was rolled out from the 7th Malaysia Plan to the 11th Plan.

“Of that amount, RM14.09 milion is for the development of MPOB research stations in Sessang and Belaga for the agronomic studies of oil palm cultivation on peat lands, research grants on greenhouse gas emissions as well as crop-livestock-oil palm integration projects.

“A total of RM35 million is being spent on research and development projects which included studies on microbial biodiversity, insect species composition, socio-economic impact on local communities in Belaga and palm oil-related downstream strategies in Sarawak,” he said.

Willie revealed this in his speech during the Malaysia Prihatin Programme and dialogue session with palm oil industry players and MPOB licence holders in Sarawak, held at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) auditorium, here today.

At the same function, Willie disclosed Sarawak is ranked the third highest state in the country in terms of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certifications.

He said more than half of private palm oil smallholders in the state have received MSPO Certification after the government made it mandatory for the factory, plantation and palm oil sectors.

“In Sarawak, a total of 32 Sustainable Palm Oil Clusters (SPOCs) in Sarawak has been established with the involvement of 23,134 private palm oil smallholders, covering a total of 132,451 hectares of palm oil plantations that have the MSPO certification, which is 59.20 per cent of the private oil palm smallholders in the state,” he added. — DayakDaily