KUCHING, Sept 3 — The biodiesel improvement programme and initiatives in the country as well as opening of new markets have contributed to the increase in palm oil price currently, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Willie Mongin.
He said for example, the price of crude palm oil (CPO) has increased to RM2,880 per tonne at present, while fresh fruit bunches (FFB) is around RM540 per tonne, after falling to RM260 per tonne previously.
“We are optimistic and confident of at least maintaining the price at this level. In fact, the government’s seriousness in fostering good diplomatic ties with importing countries has also helped in maintaining or improving the commodity’s price,” he said.
He said this to reporters after attending the “Jom Pensijilan Minyak Sawit Mampan Malaysia” programme or “Let’s Go for Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) Certification” programme at Pulapol Kuching near here.
On the certification aspect, he said besides recognising the palm quality produced, it could also assure producers of getting good prices.
“There are 452 palm oil mills in the country, of which 408 or 90.27 per cent have obtained the MSPO certification, while in Sarawak, out of 81 mills, 77 or 95 per cent have obtained the certification,” he said.
Willie who is also Puncak Borneo Member of Parliament said up to August 28, 2020, some 5.04 million hectares or 85.45 per cent out of 5.9 million hectares of oil palm plantations in Malaysia had obtained the MSPO certification, while in Sarawak, some 202,016 hectares had received the certification.
Meanwhile, Willie said the government would not be cruel or refuse to tolerate with the smallholders in Sarawak who have still not obtained the certification even though they were given until December 31, 2019 to do so.
“There are smallholders who own land but without grant even though this is one of the requirements (to get certification) and this matter will take time to resolve. We can discuss with them as they may be facing certain constraints,” he said.
The smallholders who have not obtained the certification are still allowed to sell their palm production which meets the quality grade set by the millers.
“However, we do not encourage the smallholders to continue not having the MSPO certification as we want them to comply with the procedures and policies set at the international level,” he added. — Bernama