Sarawak to enforce MSPO certification for oil palm industry

Sagah (second right) takes a close look at the oil palm products showcased at one of the booths.

BINTULU: The Sarawak government is fully committed to the sustainability of the palm oil industry.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the introduction of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO)certification scheme which entails compliance with international standards and environmental requirements by the government is therefore timely in addressing the industry’s sustainability.

“The government has made MSPO certification scheme mandatory for plantations and smallholders and has set the deadline for the two sectors to be certified by Dec 31, 2018 and Dec 31 2019 respectively.

“Thus it is imperative for us to work together to ensure MSPO to be successful, it requires the cooperation and support from the whole supply chain of the industry,” said Uggah who is also the Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development at the 9th Palmtech and Agritech Expo and Conference 2018 opening ceremony yesterday.

His text of speech was read by Assistant Minister of Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah.

For the smallholder sector, he said his ministry in collaboration with Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (DOPPA) had carried out a number of awareness programmes on the importance and compliance with MSPO standard requirements in various locations throughout  Sarawak.

As of July 31 this year, a total of 1,000 independent smallholders with a total area of 5,543.28 hectares have been certified under MSPO.

The oil palm industry is the thrust of the agriculture sector and one of the important pillars in the nation’s economy.

“The dynamic growth of the palm oil sector is well reflected by its strong export earnings of RM77.85 billion in 2017 and its high employment rate. The sector provides a stable source of income to more than one million local smallholders nationwide.

“To-date, about 5.8 million hectares of land are cultivated with oil palm, accounting for over 70 per cent of the country’s agriculture land,” he said.

Sarawak has the largest oil palm planted area of 1.56 million hectares or 27 per cent of the total planted area in Malaysia.

Sarawak targets to expand the plantation sector to two million hectares by 2020.

However as agricultural land become scarcer the Sarawak government will not issue any more provisional lease (PL) for oil palm plantation in Sarawak, Uggah said.

To continue the expansion of oil palm cultivation the government will utilise native customary rights (NCR) land as the last frontier growth area for the industry.

 

 

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