Programme helps strengthen palm oil industry

Willie (front centre) with (from front left) Miro, Jazlan, Mukhtar Suhaili, Dr Parvees, MSPO certificates recipients and others poses for a group photograph. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: The Jom Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) programme helps in strengthening the palm oil industry, especially in Sarawak.

Federal Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Willie Mongin said the programme was aimed at raising awareness in relation to the MSPO certification.

“This can indirectly repel the challenges we face from foreign countries and we also want to produce palm oil that meets world standards,” he told the press after officiating at the Sarawak MSPO Jom programme here today.

Willie, on the certification, said that the ministry practiced open discussions with oil palm farmers even though the certificate registration date has expired.

“One of the reasons that they do not get approval is due to certain constraints, such as land and financial, however, under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government, there is assistance provided.

“For example, in Sarawak, among the conditions for obtaining certification of approval is that the lands have a grant or at least have approval from the state government which states that the land is restricted for agricultural activities and so on.”

He added that so far, there is no such term as rejection in relation to the certificate application but there might be those who did not meet the requirements and it would be refined.

“Before this, we have never rejected small-time farmers, in fact, we help them because we give them guidance, because our intention is to make the MSPO reach 100 percent.

“This is so that we have the certificate that is accepted by every country, but I understand it is difficult for us to reach 100 percent. But if we can reach 90 percent or 65 per cent, it is good.”

He also revealed that 77 of the 81 factories in Sarawak had obtained MSPO.

Meanwhile, he stressed that the government would continue to ensure that the price of fresh fruit bunches (FFB), which soared to RM540 a tonne compared to RM260 previously, could be maintained.

“I hope that the private sector and corporate companies can come together to assist the government in increasing the upstream oil palm products so that it can provide employment opportunities as well as increase national income.”

The Jom MSPO was organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board and the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council for oil palm growers and small-time farmers in the state.

Willie presented MSPO certificates to 14 recipients during the event.