By D KANYAKUMARI / Pic By TMR
The government is providing financial incentives to assist oil palm planters, plantations and companies that are obtaining the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong announced in a statement yesterday that the incentives — which will be divided into three categories — would facilitate and reduce the cost of procuring the certification.
The first category, with a provision of 70% of the audit cost, is for estates with a planted area above 40.46ha to 1,000ha.
Mah said estates that are above 1,001ha will be given a 30% incentive for the audit cost, while processing facilities including mills, refineries and crushers will receive an allocation of 30% of the audit cost.
In August, the government had agreed to allocate RM130 million in incentives for oil palm smallholders that would be used to obtain the MSPO certification.
Mah said the incentive would ease the stakeholders’ financial burden before the MSPO is fully enforced at the end of 2019.
As of August 2017, the total planted area that has been certified under the MSPO Certification Scheme is 245,381ha.
“The certified areas include 237,509ha under plantation companies; 3,868ha under organised small-holders; and 4,004ha under independent smallholders.
“In addition, a total of 22 mills have also been MSPO-certified,” Mah said.
Mah had earlier stated that the MSPO Certification Scheme would allow palm oil products to obtain premium prices in the international market, in line with demands from European countries which only allow for palm oil imports with accredited certifications.
Mah chaired a stakeholders’ meeting with 120 oil palm estate owners prior to the announcement.