KUANTAN, Oct 5 — It is everyone’s responsibility to help counter the negative perceptions of the country’s palm oil industry and those who disparage it, said Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
According to him, the industry is among the most important sectors in Pahang given that oil palm is the most widely planted crop in the state, involving 818,986 hectares.
Of that area, 25 per cent or about 203,000 hectares comes under the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) land while the rest comprises private estates or plantations owned either by the federal or state government.
“The palm oil industry is facing many continuous challenges from both within the country and the international level, making it imperative to take the appropriate steps to overcome them.
“Oil palm is of huge importance for those involved, especially smallholders, Felda settlers, and plantation operators and owners,” he said when officiating the Healthy Sawit Love MY Palm Oil Campaign 2019 here today.
The programme, organised by the Pahang-Terengganu Palm Oil Manufacturers Association (PTPOMA), was attended by Deputy Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin. At the event, 26 palm oil industry players signed a declaration to comply with the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification criteria.
Wan Rosdy also described the MSPO implementation as part of the efforts to resolve the palm oil issue on the global stage, as it had been linked to deforestation, environmental destruction and loss of wildlife habitats.
“These allegations have hurt the image of our palm oil. The MSPO implementation can help us to refute the accusations as well as to widen the Malaysian palm oil market internationally,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shamsul Iskandar said the government needed the support from all quarters, including the state governments, to ensure that more oil palm growers obtain the MSPO certification, which is mandatory by next year.
As of August 31, Shamsul Iskandar said, 50.6 per cent or 2.9 million hectares of oil palm had received MSPO certification nationwide.
“As for palm oil, 288, or 64.3 per cent of the 488 factories nationwide, have received MSPO certification,” he added. — Bernama