TAMPIN, July 13 — Independent smallholders numbering 174,347 covering 621,269 hectares (ha) nationwide have received the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as of June 30.
Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng said apart from that, 232,601 smallholders with 673,512 ha of oil palm plantations under federal and state supervision have received their MSPO certificates during the same period.
He said the government was committed to ensuring that oil palm growers, comprising plantation operators and smallholders, will be able to meet the MSPO certification criteria to ensure that they are complying with environmental regulations and internationally accepted agricultural practices.
“Efforts to increase smallholders’ participation in MSPO certification via the Sustainable Palm Oil Clusters (SPOCs) are being actively implemented. Through SPOCs, smallholders will be assisted by MPOB officers to nurture good agricultural practices, and subsequently to prepare them for MSPO certification.
“This is in line with the priorities of importing and consumer countries around the world which have increasingly focused on agricultural products which are produced sustainably and which are safe for consumption,” he told reporters after the Keluarga Malaysia Agri-commodity Tour here today.
He said the MSPO certification scheme will ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the country’s palm oil industry, which would then contribute to raising the income of oil palm growers in the country.
Wee also said in order to ease the burden of smallholders preparing for MSPO certification, an incentive of RM30 million has been allocated and regulated by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in 2019.
He said the incentives include funding training costs, auditing costs, personal protective equipment (PPE) costs, garden signboards and chemical storage racks. The ministry is also encouraging smallholders’ participation in palm oil production via the Sustainable Oil Palm Growers Cooperatives (KPSM).
“The participation of smallholders in KPSM is aimed to increase productivity and income via good agricultural practices and economic activities that contribute to increased income,” he said. — Bernama