KINABATANGAN: Nineteen sustainable palm oil clusters (SPOC), involving 1,040 individual smallholders and 4,127ha, have obtained the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as of Sept 15, 2017.
Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur said the move was in line with the Government’s decision to make the certification mandatory for smallholders and the plantation sector by Dec 31, 2019.
In the pursuit to help smallholders achieve the MSPO certification, the Government had provided assistance in the form of training and also personal protection equipment, he added.
“The Government was committed to help smallholders obtain the certification for sustainable palm oil production and to increase the production of fresh fruit bunches,” he told reporters after officiating the Tongod District Sustainable Oil Palm Planters Cooperative Weighing Centre.
Datu Nasrun said 5.74 million ha of land was under oil palm cultivation in Malaysia with almost 40% managed by smallholders.
He said about 958,388 ha of plantation land was managed by 241,752 smallholders and their involvement in Good Agricultural Practices has not only benefited the nation’s economy but also uplifted the socio-economic status of rural communities.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said the board was actively conducting briefings on the mandatory requirement for MSPO certification not only to create awareness among smallholders but to also increase oil palm output and simultaneously enhance smallholders’ income. - Bernama