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State Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Junz Wong (right) presenting a memento to Federal Minister of Primary Industry, Teresa Kok after the meeting here today. SNT Pix/Courtesy MAFI

KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government is seeking assistance from the State Government to ensure Sabah oil palm smallholders obtain the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification that will be made mandatory by Jan 1, 2020 for plantations and smallholders nationwide.

Primary Industry Minister Teresa Kok said this was crucial as it would affect the marketability of their oil palm to mills.

“Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, Junz Wong has informed that in principle the State Government has agreed to implement the MSPO scheme in Sabah.

“Once we get the official confirmation from the State Government, we can then proceed with the setting up of the joint committee for the implementation of the MSPO scheme in Sabah,” she said after meeting with Junz and Minister of Health and People’s Wellbeing, Stephen Wong to discuss about palm oil issues here today.

According to her, at present about 20 per cent of the total plantation areas nationwide have been certified MSPO.

As of July 2018, 5.21 per cent of the 2,267,716 hectares of smallholders plantation nationwide have been certified while in Sabah only 2,613.25 hectares or 1.2 per cent of smallholders plantations have achieved MSPO certification that was first implemented in January 2015.

“I am pleased that the meeting was fruitful in the sense that my Ministry together with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) were able to brief Junz Wong and Stephen Wong on the objectives of the certification scheme.

“The ministers’ response was positive,” she said.

“The MSPO is a Malaysian Government mandated certification scheme that takes into consideration social, economic and environmental aspects in the production of sustainable palm oil.

“This will also tell global buyers that our palm oil is of quality, sustainable, follows safe working procedures and Good Agriculture Practices,” she said

Teresa added that the MSPO certification scheme was introduced to meet the global demand for sustainable palm oil and it will also help to strengthen Malaysia’s market globally while opening up new markets for the country’s palm oil as well as in branding Malaysian palm oil as premium and sustainable.

Also present at the meeting were MPOB director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Kushairi Din, MPOCC CEO Dr Sanath Kumaran, Sabah Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Hajah Julia Lamdin, Senator Alan Ling as well as Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Mariana Tinggal.-SabahNewsToday


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