Oil palm estates over 40ha must be MSPO-certified
Published on: Sunday, February 23, 2020
By: Christy Chok
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TAWAU: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim urged all large plantation companies in the country to step out and assist smallholders, particularly the operators of medium-size plantations, to speed up the process of obtaining the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification.

She said as of Feb 22 this year, only 75 per cent of the total oil palm planted areas in Malaysia were MSPO-certified, while in Sabah it was 78.44 per cent. 

“There are still many oil palm growers who have yet to get the MSPO certification,” she said when met by reporters after the launch of Sabah-level ”Love MY Palm Oil” campaign at Teck Guan Cocoa Village, here, Saturday.

The event, participated by more than 1,000 people, was officiated by Deputy Chief Minister Wilfred Madius Tangau who represented Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal. Also present was Teck Guan Group Executive Chairman Datuk Hong Ngit Ming.

“European Union (EU) wants to ban global deforestation and wildlife extinction in product supply chains, including palm oil production, and thus they require all palm oil imported into Europe to be certified sustainable,” said Teresa.

She said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will revoke the licences of oil palm growers who operate plantations with an area of 40 hectares (100 acres) and above as well as the licences of palm oil mills that are not MSPO-certified, effective Jan 1, this year.

According to her, the Federal Government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Sabah Government to plant more “elephant grass” in an effort to create more wildlife corridors and eventually help to mitigate human-elephant conflict in Sabah and allow co-existence between wildlife and plantations.

She said part of the funds for the planting would come from the RM1 cess on every metric tonne of palm oil imposed on palm oil growers for its environmental and conservation agenda.

“The Malaysian palm oil industry has been around for over 100 years and contributed 3.5 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product in 2019 as well as export earnings of RM64.8 billion. This industry also has created job opportunities for more than three million people.

“Palm oil is considered a golden crop because it can enhance the socio-economic status of smallholders and drive rural development, including 32,156 smallholders in Sabah,” she said. 

“The poor performance of palm oil prices since 2018 has begun to show positive signs of recovery, with the crude palm oil price level reaching RM3,013.50 per tonne in January 2020. 

“The Government also expects crude palm oil prices to rise throughout 2020 following the implementation of B20 biodiesel and other factors.”

Meanwhile, Shafie, in his speech text read by Madius, said the programme was a continuation of Sabah’s efforts to boost the image of the palm oil industry of the country which is facing challenges as well as smear campaign by European Union (EU).

“EU claimed the palm oil industry has caused deforestation apart from destroying the habitat of orang-utan when the Government through the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is co-operating with the Wildlife and National Parks Department in the conservation of orang-utan,” he said.

According to him, Sabah will continue to co-operate with the Primary Industries Ministry and palm oil industry activists to protect wildlife as a national heritage and proved the commitment of the Government to ensure the oil palm industry is sustainable and environmental-friendly.


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