KUDAT, Aug 10 — Only 42 per cent of the 5.85 million hectares under oil palm in the country have achieved the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification until June 30.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said this is still far from achieving the target of 100 per cent compliance as the year-end deadline of the MPSO incentive applications is approaching.
She said it would be difficult to counter the flawed claims against palm oil levelled by European countries and the World Trade Organisation “if we do not strive to implement the MSPO now.”
“Hence, ministry officials have gone to the ground to raise awareness among the smallholders on the need to get the MSPO certification through the incentives paid by the government, but it is only for this year,” she told reporters after briefing oil palm smallholders on the MSPO certification here today.
Kok said the government is also assisting smallholders by introducing a soft loan scheme with a 2.0 per cent annual interest rate for oil palm replanting, for which they only need to start repayment in the fourth year after their crop could be harvested.
Meanwhile, Kok said in Sabah, only 10,300 hectares or 47 per cent of the 223,000 hectares under oil palm have achieved the MPSO certification.
She said efforts were being made to improve the yield of independent smallholders through the Sustainable Palm Oil Cluster (SPOC) to implement MSPO.
“In Sabah, 26 out of 29 SPOCs have obtained MSPO certificates involving 2,188 smallholders,” she said. — Bernama