TAWAU: Unaware about the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and disappointment over the low price of the commodity are among reasons many oil palm smallholders remain uncertified, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
She said in Sabah, only 46 per cent of the 223,000 hectares of the private planted area had obtained MSPO certification as of June 30, 2019.
“I wish to let smallholders know that the cost to obtain the MSPO is borne by the government until the end of this year. You just need to come forward and apply,” she told reporters after a briefing on MSPO and dialogue session with Sabah oil palm growers, here.
She also called on the relevant associations to get in touch with 267 smallholders in the state and urge them to come forward and apply for the certification.
Meanwhile, Kok said the government, through the Attorney General’s Chambers, was preparing to raise the issue of European countries’ refusal to import Malaysia’s palm oil at the World Trade Organisation.
She said the decision was made during the meeting between Malaysia and Indonesia through the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries.
Kok also said that the government was currently working with the private sector to seek new markets to increase palm oil price.
“For this reason, I will be visiting several African countries, Japan, Europe and Vietnam in the next few months to meet buyers and importers,” she added.
Kok also suggested Sabah become the first state to undertake B20 diesel programme.
“If the B20 is implemented in Sabah, we will be using a lot more of palm oil, thus increasing the price of the commodity,” she said, adding that currently, her ministry was in discussion with petroleum companies to upgrade their B20 storage depots.