BANTING —The Plantation and Commodities Ministry has urged Orang Asli smallholders in Selangor to join the Koperasi Penanam Sawit Mampan (KPSM), as it offers various benefits to increase productivity in oil palm cultivation.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Plantation and Commodities Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said as of June this year, 69 KPSMs have been established nationwide, with 24 of them in the Peninsula.
Of the 24 KPSMs in the Peninsula, two of them have been established in Selangor, namely Kuala Selangor Selatan Bhd and Kuala Langat Bhd, he said, when meeting the Orang Asli community at his ministry’s Commodity Track (Central Zone) Dialogue with Selangor oil palm smallholders, in Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Bumbun, Pulau Carey, here today.
Based on the current records of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), it is estimated that 200 Orang Asli residents at Pulau Carey are involved in the palm oil sector as smallholders.
He said the participation of Orang Asli smallholders in Selangor in KPSM will give them the opportunity to enjoy various initiatives and assistance provided by the government.
“This cooperative can help in terms of collection and also increase their income, so that they can buy, for example, fertiliser in bulk.
“It is cheaper to buy in bulk and this will definitely help the agricultural input at the price level which gives additional income to the cooperative and its members,” he said.
The government, through the MPOB, has provided a variety of assistance to oil palm smallholders, including the Oil Palm Smallholder Replanting Scheme; Oil Palm Smallholder Agricultural Input easy financing scheme; Oil Palm Integrated Farming Scheme (ITa) and Livestock Integration Scheme.
Fadillah said the results of the interaction with smallholders allowed his ministry to assess the problems and the government assistance which could be channelled, especially in terms of agricultural inputs, pesticides and fertilisers.
He also suggested that the implementation of agricultural integration among Orang Asli smallholders would help generate additional sources of income, as well as help contribute to the country’s food security.
During the programme, Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification was also presented to Orang Asli smallholders, to recognise their compliance with environmental sustainability.
Fadillah also attended a gathering with cocoa growers in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor