Govt to raise MSPO incentives for medium-sized estates

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by AFP

THE Ministry of Primary Industries will increase the incentives under the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification (MSPO) to encourage planters to apply for the sustainable requirement standards.

The ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Dr Tan Yew Chon said the incentives, which are targeted to medium-sized estates, will increase the reimbursement for auditing fees from 70% to 100% while introducing a 50% reimbursement for certification fees.

“As the MPSO mandatory deadline of Dec 31, 2019 is just around the corner, the government has decided to increase the quantum of incentives.

“Now, the auditing fees can be reimbursed up to 100% while the certification fees can be claimed up to 50%,” he said at the MSPO Appreciation Day 2019 in Putrajaya today.

While the cost of applying the sustainable certification for smallholders is currently borne by the government, Tan said that MPI is expanding the incentives to estates with size between 11 and 40.6 hectares.

“The government also decided to extend the deadline for MSPO incentives application from June 30, 2019 to Dec 2019.

“This extension will affect plantations, estates and processing facilities,” he said.

As of May 2019, 2.13 million hectares or 36.4% of oil plantation and 215 mills or 47.6% of the total mills in the country have been certified with MSPO.

The areas include the smallholders’ 324,000 planted area and 777 estates with a total area of 1.81 million hectares.

Tan added that 31 processing facilities and 19 refineries have been certified with MSPO Supply Chain Certification Standard (SCCS).

“We will continue to push towards a full implementation of MSPO certification by Dec 2019,at the same time continue to promote our palm oil in major importing markets on the benefits of MSPO-certified plantation.

“Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) also has signed a memorandum of understanding with China Green Food Development Center (CGFDC), an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China to develop a cooperation on the mutual recognition of procedures for palm oil products exported from Malaysia to China,” he said.