PUTRAJAYA, March 19 — A total of 758,923 hectares (ha) of oil palm plantations and 70 mills have obtained the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as at February 2018, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
He said it was a 210 per cent growth in certified hectarage since the government’s announced in May last year that the MPSO certification would be mandatory for planters and palm oil mills by end-2019.
“This figure included 49 independent smallholder clusters with total planted area of 9,521 ha, seven clusters of organised smallholders with planted area of 19,110 ha, and 260 estates with planted area of 730,292 ha,” he added.
Speaking to the media after officiating the MSPO Appreciation Day here today, Mah said the government had set a target to certify 1.8 million hectares of oil palm plantations by year-end.
“The country currently has a total of 5.8 million ha of oil palm plantations, and we are confident all planters and millers will succeed in obtaining the MSPO certification by December 2019,” he said.
Mah said the government would continue to improve the MPSO principles and criteria in order to be in line with international sustainability best practices, leading to recognition by other countries and international audit bodies.
He noted that the government had allocated RM150 million in incentives to ease the financial burden of oil palm smallholders, as well as to achieve the MPSO certification mandatory compliance by all planters nationwide by Dec 31, 2019.
Underlining the government’s high commitment towards the effort, Mah said it had approved various incentives, including up to 100 per cent funding for costs incurred in auditing, storing of pesticides and fertiliser, and buying protective equipment. — Bernama