KUCHING, March 29 Mac — The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) invested almost RM50 million for the development of two palm oil research stations in Sessang, Betong Division and Belaga, Kapit Division in Sarawak.
Plantation Industries and Commodities deputy minister Datuk Willie Mongin said palm oil research and development (R&D) project implementation had been included in the Malaysia Plan (MP) since the 7MP until the 11MP.
“Of that amount, RM14.09 million went to construction of the two research stations which focus on agronomic studies of oil palm cultivation including on peatlands; research grants on greenhouse gas emissions; and crop-livestock integration projects,” he told a media conference today.
Earlier, he attended a dialogue session with palm oil industry activists and Sarawak MPOB licensees at Kuching South City Council Auditorium here.
He said RM35 million was spent on R&D projects which included the study of microbial biodiversity, insect species composition, socio-economic impact on local communities in Belaga, and downstream strategies related to the palm oil industry in Sarawak.
“The government spends the revenue collected by MPOB to cover part of the financing of R&D projects related to the palm oil industry throughout the country,” he said.
On March 1, the government through MPOB increased the cess on palm oil by RM2, from RM14 to RM16 per tonne, for crude palm oil and crude palm kernel oil.
Meanwhile, Mongin when asked about the direction of his political career with Bersatu in regard to the next general election, said the Sarawak Coalition (GPS) and his party have a good understanding, and that solidarity between the federal and state governments could be strengthened.
“I leave it to the top leadership of both parties; I believe with the hard work I have shown, the people can judge. For me, we have to work first, then we leave it to the people to decide,” said the Puncak Borneo Member of Parliament. — Bernama