Oil Palm Estates Above 40 Hectares Must Be MSPO-Certified

TAWAU: Operators of oil palm estates which are above 40 hectares are required to have the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification effective this year.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) would be withdrawing the licence of operators who failed to comply with the matter.

“MSPO certification is mandatory for palm oil estates which are 100 acres (40.47 hectares) and above,” she said when met by reporters after the launch of Sabah level ‘Love MY Palm Oil’ campaign at Teck Guan Cocoa Village here today.

The ceremony was officiated by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Wilfred Madius Tangau who represented  Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

According to Teresa, 4.42 million hectares or 74.8 per cent of the 5.9 million hectares of oil palm plantation in Malaysia have received MSPO certification as at Feb 21.

“In terms of palm oil mills, 390 out of 452 mills found in Malaysia are also MSPO certified,” she added.

In this regard, she said the government is projecting a rise in crude palm oil price this year following the implementation of the B20 biodiesel.

“The performance of commodity which was tepid since 2018, has started to show positive signs with palm oil prices surpassing RM3,013.50 a tonne in January this year,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie in his speech text read by Madius said the programme was a continuation of Sabah’s efforts to boost the image of the palm oil industry of the country which is facing challenges as well as smear campaign by European Union (EU).

“EU claimed the palm oil industry has caused deforestation apart from destroying the habitat of Orang Utan when the government through the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is cooperating with the Wildlife and National Parks Department in the conservation of Orang Utan,” he said.

According to him, Sabah will continue to cooperate with the Primary Industries Ministry and palm oil industry activists to protect wildlife as a national heritage and proved the commitment of the government to ensure the oil palm industry is sustainable and environmental-friendly.