BINTULU (Oct 28): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof stated that the second meeting regarding the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) in December is expected to recognise the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as part of the EUDR audit process.
Fadillah, who is also plantation and commodities minister, said the recognition of the MSPO aims to ensure that palm oil cultivation activities in the country do not affect the environment and are produced based on good and sustainable agricultural practices.
“Our commitment to the world is that (the area of) our forests must not be less than 50 per cent, so we have to balance the need for (oil palm) production.
“At the same time, we do not sacrifice our environment. This is our commitment for future generations,” he told reporters after attending the Sarawak smallholder MSPO strengthening programme in Sungai Selad, Sebemban, about 30 kilometres from here, today.
Fadillah said the first EUDR meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 4, had yielded some positive results for Malaysia but the second meeting in Kuala Lumpur will finalise whether the MSPO will be accepted as part of the audit process under the EUDR.
In his speech at the programme, Fadillah asked smallholders in Sarawak to join the Sustainable Oil Palm Growers Cooperatives (KPSM) to enable them to apply for MSPO recognition as a group.
He said KPSM could help to ensure that these smallholders cultivate their oil palm plantations using good farming methods and comply with the conditions under the MSPO.
“We know that if every smallholder wants to take the MSPO, the cost is expensive. That is why what we do is we set up a cooperative and the cooperative will work together to achieve the MSPO certificate,” he said.
As at Sept 30, a total of 3,955 smallholders participated in 18 KPSMs in Sarawak compared to the total number of 46,325 smallholders in the state.
“I call on anyone who is not yet a member to become a member of a cooperative while districts that do not yet have a cooperative, quickly establish a cooperative to help increase the income of smallholders and ultimately develop our oil palm industry,” Fadillah added. – Bernama