LAST_UPDATEMon, 19 Mar 2018 11pm

633,000 Ha Of Oil Palm Plantation MSPO Certified, Says Mah

Datuk Seri Mah Siew KeongDatuk Seri Mah Siew Keong

PUTRAJAYA -- About 633,232 hectares (ha) of oil palm plantation and 59 mills have voluntarily obtained the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as of January 2018, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

Currently, there are a total of 5.7 million ha of oil palm plantation and 454 mills in the country.

“We want to prove to the world that we are very committed towards ensuring palm oil is produced sustainably, and this is why we are embarking on the MSPO certification.

"We are positive more oil palm planters, especially smallholders, will take up the MSPO scheme,” he told a press conference after receiving a courtesy call from the Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon here today.

Mah said MSPO certification, which started on a voluntary basis on Jan 1, 2015, would be made mandatory by end-2019 in order to elevate the palm oil industry to global standards.

“The mandatory timeline for plantation industries to obtain MSPO certification will be June 30, 2019 while smallholders will have to get their certification by Dec 31,” he said.

The government has allocated RM130 million in incentive for oil palm smallholders, which numbered around 650,000, to obtain the MSPO certification.

On the European Union’s (EU) ban on palm oil, Mah said five leading EU countries would not support the ban while another unspecified country needed to have further discussions before arriving at a decision.

“We will get more countries to support us. We are confident more countries will go against the ban, however, we need (to do) a lot of hard work,” he said.

The Malaysia-EU Palm Oil Consultation continued with a series of meetings with government representatives and EU Commissioners in Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and Poland.

On Jan 17, the EU Parliament voted to ban palm oil-based bio-fuels by 2021 while other vegetable oil-based bio-fuels, such as those from soya and rapeseed oil, can continue to be used until 2030.

Spain was the latest EU country to speak against the resolution after France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.