Selangor Journal
A worker unloads palm oil fruit bunches at a factory in Tanjung Karang, on August 14, 2020. — Picture by REUTERS

MPOB: Efforts being made to help more palm oil smallholders meet MSPO requirements

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — The Ministry of Plantations and Commodities and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) are intensifying efforts to enable more palm oil smallholders to comply with the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification (MSPO) scheme.

MPOB director-general Datuk Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir said the implementation of the MSPO since 2015 across the Malaysian oil palm industry chain has indirectly proved the oil palm industry can proliferate without sacrificing forests, a unique biodiversity habitat in our country.

The industry has contributed largely to the country’s preservation and conservation of flora and fauna.

“If oil palm growers follow all MSPO principles and good agricultural practices in this country, then there is no reason and strong evidence to link Malaysian oil palm plantations to damaging the environment,” he said in his keynote speech at the MSPO smallholder empowering programme in Pelangai, Bentong, Pahang, today.

Ahmad Parveez said that, previously, the European Union and other vegetable oil-producing countries seemed to challenge the palm oil-producing countries regarding environmental sustainability.

“The international community is now increasingly aware that palm oil production in Malaysia is carried out sustainably by creating a symbiotic relationship between environmental conservation and economic prosperity,” he added.

The government is aware of the costs that smallholders have to bear to finance the implementation of the MSPO certification.

Therefore, in 2019, it provided an incentive of RM30 million through MPOB to reduce the financial burden that smallholders have to bear to support MSPO certification among smallholders.

For smallholders, the incentives provided include the cost of MSPO certification fees, MSPO-related training, provision of chemical storage shelves, and personal protective equipment.

In addition to the smallholder group, the farm and factory sectors also emphasised providing incentives involving the cost of MSPO certification.

“The development of the oil palm industry will definitely benefit the small oil palm farmers in Malaysia, especially in Bentong,” said Ahmad Parveez.

In a statement, MPOB said all nine sustainable palm oil clusters (SPOC) in Pahang had obtained MSPO certification involving 11,868 smallholders with an area of ​​36,336.75 hectares (ha).

12,561 smallholders cultivate oil palm plantations with an area of ​​41,383.00ha in Pahang as of September 30, 2023, making the average owned oil palm plantation area for each smallholder in Pahang at 3.3ha.

The implementation of MSPO for private smallholders under the supervision of MPOB has certified 162 SPOCs involving 196,607 smallholders with an area of ​​736,822ha across the country as of this September.

— Bernama

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