Daily Express (01/04/2019) - SANDAKAN: The Government has no intention of suspending the Jannuary 20202 implementation of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said.
She said the MSPO certification is necessary to ensure that palm oil is recognised as a sustainable and five-star commodity.
“That’s why we want to continue with the MSPO certification seriously. Otherwise, it will be difficult for us to market palm oil in the future, especially when European Union (EU) countries impose various obstacles to the entry of palm oil into their markets,” she said.
Kok was speaking after visiting smallholder Chong Yun Loi, 52, whose two-hectare oil palm smallholding that he cultivated since 2006, received the MSPO certification last week.
The minister was asked to comment on the call made by many oil palm smallholders for the government to postpone the MSPO certification implementation until the market improves as they are facing difficulty in abiding by the conditions.
Teresa said there are no excuses for smallholders to appeal for its postponement as government through MPOCC is providing subsidy to smallholders in effort for them to be MSPO certified
Kok said the government provides an audit cost of RM135 per hectare of oil palm smallholding to facilitate smallholders in applying for the MSPO certification.
Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council Chief Executive Officer Chew Jit Seng said there are about 650,000 smallholders nationwide who are cultivating 38 per cent of the total 5.85 million hectares of areas under oil palm.
The government has made it mandatory for all oil palm planters and smallholders in the country to obtain the MSPO certification, which outlines best agricultural practices to make the country’s palm oil an international choice, by December 31.
Meanwhile, efforts in conserving wildlife and endangered animals in Sabah won praise from Kok.
She said efforts by the Wildlife Department, the Sabah Forestry Department and other parties have been very helpful in preserving the environment in the State.
She was also impressed with the hard work and management put into the Orangutan and Sun Bear conservation centres in Sandakan saying “It has shown very good impact.”
She pledged to help promote the efforts through her Ministry so that more people will know about it.
“The wildlife conservation efforts as well as sustainable oil palm management shows that allegations that our oil palm management is bad is untrue,” she said.
The European Union had previously stated their refusal to accept Malaysia’s palm oil due to the allegations.
Kok reiterated that it was not true that the nation’s oil palm management is not sustainable, adding that it should not be an issue because all quarters are making effort to ensure it is at its level best.
She said her Ministry together with the palm oil board is also in the process of implementing the Anti-Palm Oil Campaign to drive the message across the country’s commodity is the best.
Also present were Sabah Wildlife Director Augustine Tuga, his deputy Dr Sen Nathan and the Orangutan Conservation Centre Manager Sylvia Alsisto, among others. – Bernama/ Winnie Kasmir
Read more at http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/133186/the-mspo-deadline-stays/