KUALA SELANGOR: The Primary Industries Ministry wants oil palm smallholders nationwide to strive more to obtain the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification for their product.

Minister Teresa Kok said this is because, based on the latest data, only 11% of oil palm smallholders nationwide have obtained the certificate, and she described the number as very small and worrying.

“Malaysia has 5.8 million ha under oil palm and 40% of them are owned by smallholders. But, only 11% of the smallholders have the MSPO certification.

“The RM40,000 cost to obtain the certificate is borne by the government. As such, oil palm smallholders should take the opportunity to obtain the certification by providing the necessary documents needed by the auditors,” she told a press conference after opening a palm oil processing factory in Jalan Kampung Kuantan here today.

So far, 62.4% or 3.64 million ha of oil palm plantations in the country have obtained the certification.

Kok said that as a palm oil producing country, Malaysia needs to fulfil the demand of customers comprising the developed nations which want palm oil to be produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

“Demand for palm oil is always high but they want the palm oil produced by a more sustainable method. As such, we, as the producer, must comply with the customers’ wants,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Kok also called on palm oil processing factory owners to always abide by the guidelines set by the Department of Environment (DOE), especially involving air and water pollution.

She warned that her ministry would shut down factories which fail to abide by the DOE guidelines because otherwise, it would portray a bad image of the national oil palm industry.

“Although factory owners still have 20 months to comply with these guidelines, we hope they will do so soon,” she added. – Jan 13, 2020 Bernama

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