Ensuring palm oil sustainability

PUTRAJAYA: Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said 633,232 ha of oil palm plantation and 59 mills have voluntarily obtained the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as of January.

There are 5.7 million ha of oil palm plantation and 454 mills in the country.

“We want to prove to the world that we are very committed towards ensuring palm oil is produced sustainably, and this is why we are embarking on the MSPO certification.

“We are positive more oil palm planters, especially smallholders, will take up the MSPO scheme,” he told a press conference after receiving a courtesy call from the Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon here yesterday.

The MSPO certification, which started on a voluntary basis on Jan 1, 2015, would be made mandatory by end-2019 in order to elevate the palm oil industry to global standards.

“The mandatory timeline for plantation industries to obtain MSPO certification will be June 30, 2019 while smallholders will have to get their certification by Dec 31,” he said.

The Government has allocated RM130mil in incentive for oil palm smallholders, which numbered around 650,000 to obtain the MSPO certification.

On the European Union’s (EU) ban on palm oil, Mah said five leading EU countries would not support the ban while an unspecified country needed to have further discussions before arriving at a decision. — Bernama

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