KUALA SELANGOR, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) have urged oil palm smallholders nationwide to be more progressive in the effort to obtain the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said this is because, based on the latest number received by MPI, only 11 per cent of oil palm smallholders nationwide had obtained the certificate, and the number is very small and worrying.
"Malaysia has 5.8 million hectares (ha) under oil palm and 40 per cent of them are owned by smallholders. But, only 11 per cent of the oil palm smallholders have the MSPO certification.
"The RM40,000 cost to obtain the certificate is borne by the government. As such, oil palm smallholders are urged to take the opportunity to obtain the certification by providing the necessary documents needed by the auditors," she told a press conference after opening a palm oil processing factory in Jalan Kampung Kuantan here today.
For the record, 62.4 per cent or 3.64 million ha of oil palm plantation in the country had obtained the certification.
TERESA-MPOCC 2 (LAST) KUALA SELANGOR
Elaborating further, Teresa said, as a palm oil producing country, Malaysia needed to fulfill the demand of customers comprising the developed nations which wanted palm oil to be produced via a sustainable and environmental friendly method.
"Demand for palm oil is indeed always high but they want the palm oil which is produced through a more sustainable method. As such, we, as the producer must comply with the customers' wants," she said.
Meanwhile, Teresa also called on the oil palm processing factory owners to always abide by the guidelines set by the Department of Environment (DOE) especially involving air and water pollutions.
She said her ministry would not hesitate to shut down factories which failed to abide by the guidelines stipulated by DOE because it would portray a bad image of the national oil palm industry.
"Although factory owners still have 20 months to comply with these guidelines, we hope they will do so soon," she said.
TAGS: MPOCC, Teresa Kok, oil palm, palm oil