KUALA LUMPUR: Intensive efforts by various parties to strengthen the country’s palm oil industry has borne fruit with the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification gaining important international recognition.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Him said MSPO has received recognition from Tokyo Olympic 2020 as a source of sustainable palm oil and from China’s Green Food Development Centre.

The certification has also been recognised for introducing MSPO-Trace which shows the supply chain of palm oil products.

The MSPO, she added, has also earned acknowledgement from the Indian & Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) which has bolstered bilateral relationship between Malaysia and India, besides promoting the production of sustainable palm oil and trade.

In tandem with the international recognition it received, Malaysia’s export of palm oil products to India from January to November last year surged 77% in quantity and 15.8% in value while export to China saw a jump of 27.3% (quantity) and 13.7% (value).

Exports to Japan has also seen an increase of 25.6% (quantity) and 4.2% (value).

“Malaysia has also managed to penetrate new markets such as East African countries (Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya), Central Asia and South Asia (Pakistan and Bangladesh), where the volume of exports from January to November 2019 stood at 25.7 million tonnes valued at RM59 bil,” Kok said while presenting her ministry’s report card at RTM’s “Bicara Naratif” programme at Angkasapuri recently.

The report card from July 2018 until December 2019 showcased her ministry’s achievements to strengthen the performance of various commodities produced by the country.

Explaining further on the MSPO certification, Kok said as of December 2019, the number of MSPO-certified oil palm plantation in the country had increased to 62.4%, amounting to 3.64 million hectares of land.

She also said that 340 oil palm mills throughout the country have received MSPO certification compared with only 50 at the end of 2017.

In line with efforts to further stabilise the price of palm oil, she said, the government had implemented a biodiesel programme using palm oil (B7 and B10) last year, which has directly increased domestic demand for the commodity.

“We have reached the target where crude palm oil (CPO) usage for B7 stood at 227,000 tonnes a year and 534,000 tonnes a year for B10,” she said.

With measures taken by the government, palm oil prices continued its upward momentum – last year’s average CPO price stood at RM2,813 per tonne compared with RM1,795 per tonne in December 2018.

“With the introduction of four new policies announced in March last year, we hope the palm oil industry will achieve its intended goals, especially in addressing the international anti-palm oil campaigns,” said Kok.

The four policies are limiting ​​oil palm cultivation areas nationwide by setting the target of 6.5 million hectares, the ban of new oil palm plantation on new peatland areas, the ban on the conversion of permanent forest for oil palm and other agricultural activities.

The fourth policy involved the provision of official maps on oil palm areas for public access. – Jan 28, 2020, Bernama

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