The federal government has allocated RM53 million to assist oil palm smallholders in obtaining the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification within the next five years.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said as palm oil export needed the MSPO, smallholders would not encounter problems when selling their produce after getting the certification.
“We want smallholders to gain recognition, but the cost of getting the MSPO is rather high. That is why the government has allocated RM53 million for them in order to get the certification,” he told reporters after launching a seminar on the Sarawak’s palm oil industry productivity here Monday.
Uggah said the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) set up by the government was tasked with producing the MSPO certification.
Meanwhile, Uggah urged the private sector to build five independent palm oil mills in Sarawak to support the rapidly expanding palm oil industry.
He said so far there were no independent mills in the state as most of them were owned and operated by plantation companies.
Uggah said private-owned independent mills were not required to own oil palm plantations.
“Applications can now be made online through the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). After approval, they have to complete the mill construction within two years,” he said.
Uggah said the MPOB would continue the crackdown on fresh fruit bunches (FFB) theft in Sarawak and stern action would be taken against licensed holders found buying stolen FFB.