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Palm oil smallholders told to apply for replanting
Published on: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
By: Winnie Kasmir
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Palm oil smallholders told to apply for replanting
SANDAKAN: Smallholders in the palm oil industry, especially in Sabah, are advised to seize the opportunity to get the Small Palm Oil Smallholder Planting Financing Incentive Scheme for the replanting.

Deputy Minister of Plantation and Commodities, Datuk Chan Foong Hin said this matching grant involves an allocation of RM100 million which will be fully channelled by Agrobank.

He explained that the incentives announced in the 2024 Budget were prepared and introduced by the government through the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Plantation and Commodities.

Thus, Chan suggested small oil palm farmers to take the initiative to replant to replace old trees as a reinvestment measure.

Chan was met by the media after attending the Replanting Seminar organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) at the Sabah Hotel, recently.

Commenting further on replanting, Chan said, this issue is very critical and important to be discussed in the oil palm industry.

“In 2023, Sabah will have 1.51 million hectares of oil palm trees. However, of this amount, 33 percent, which is approximately 500,000 hectares, consists of oil palm trees aged 20 years and above.

“When a palm tree is over 20 years old, the yield we can get from the palm will decrease, so it is very important that we (industry players) always improve ourselves for the practice of replanting in a disciplined manner,” he said.

However, Chan praised oil palm industry players in Sabah for successfully replanting 61,421 hectares.

“Compared to the nationally low replanting rate of 1.8 percent between 2014 and 2023, Sabah achieved a remarkable 4 percent replanting rate with 61,421 hectares in 2023.

“The large increase of 36,218 hectares replanted in 2022 reflects Sabah’s commitment to industrial rejuvenation,” he commented.

Elaborating on the one-day seminar attended by 350 oil palm industry players, Chan hoped that the seminar would become a platform to find an agreement in replanting efforts.

“In this ever-evolving landscape, palm oil emerges as a beacon of hope—a symbol of resilience and prosperity to provide food, not fuel and fuel for the world.

“It is important that we respond to the challenge and the willingness to reinvest by accelerating replanting because the global demand for cooking oil is expected to increase when the world’s population approaches 10 billion by 2050,” he added.

Also present at the seminar were MPOA Chief Executive, Joseph Tek Choon Yee, and Sabah MPOA chairman, A.Prakash. 

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