PONTIAN: A new system has been developed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to curb oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB) theft and unscrupulous activities involved in the buying and selling of the commodity.
Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said a one-month pilot project would be carried out starting Wednesday (March 2) to test the e-FFB system before it is reviewed and tweaked accordingly.
He said his ministry hopes to make it compulsory for all in the palm oil industry to use the e-FFB system by the middle of this year for all such transactions.
“The online system, accessible via a smartphone app, allows MPOB to better monitor and regulate FFB transactions and to overcome other hanky panky issues such as theft and illegal sales of FFB.
“This effort stemmed from complaints regarding the sales of stolen FFB, unlicensed sales, abuse of licences and unscrupulous fruit dealers.
“For example, a licenced smallholder with 0.4ha of land could somehow sell 2 tonnes of FFB, which greatly exceeds the amount of yield estimated for that land size.
“These are the issues affecting the industry and the income of smallholders in the B40 category and we believe the new system is able to boost transparency and support the industry as a whole,” he said after launching the pilot project in Pekan Nanas here on Wednesday (March 2).
The Tanjung Piai MP said the system allows independent smallholders to keep, check and print yield and transaction records at the tip of their fingers.
“They just need to key in their particulars in the system, linked to MPOB’s database, to keep track of their sales as presently, such transactions are recorded manually in writing.
“Such information is also important for the government to gather comprehensive data for the future development of the industry.
“Independent smallholders are also reminded to comply with MPOB’s regulation of applying and renewing their licence, for free, to sell FFB on time to perform transactions with fruit dealers and mills.
“MPOB will carry out enforcement against those involved in unlicenced sales and unscrupulous activities that are flagged in the e-FFB system,” he added.
The pilot project involves 2,458 oil palm smallholders, 10 fruit dealers and an oil palm mill in Tanjung Piai.
According to Wee, Johor has 743,173.6ha of oil palm plantations in total, where 171,907.6ha (23%) was overseen by 67,186 smallholders while the remaining 571,266ha are commercial oil palm plantations.