Kok to engage Europe on direction of Malaysian oil palm industry

Malaysia will emphasise stand on the importance of environmental conservation efforts such as forest replanting and wildlife protection

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIA will engage four European countries next week on the direction of the Malaysian oil palm industry to address the widespread anti-oil campaign in the continent.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said she will expound on the four policies of the national oil palm industry to government representatives of the four countries during a series of visits.

She said the one-week visit begins next week involving the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

“I will also emphasise Malaysia’s stand on the importance of environmental conservation efforts such as forest replanting and wildlife protection.

“I will also state that Malaysian palm oil operators are very concerned about the environment, including wildlife protection,” she told reporters after a briefing on the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification in Johor Oil Palm Planting in Taman Kota Jaya, Johor, yesterday.

Kok said she will outline the country’s four new directions, namely limiting oil palm acreage across the country by setting a ceiling of 6.5 million hectares (ha), as well as imposing restrictions on new oil palm cultivation on peatlands.

“The others are banning conversion of Permanent Forest Reserve land use for oil palm cultivation or other agricultural activities and lastly, preparing an official map of oil palm areas for public access,” she said.

On the MSPO, she said so far 64.1% of the 5.85 million ha of the entire oil palm areas in the country had received the certification.

Of the 3.74ha of land accorded the MSPO certification, she said 3.04 million hawere estates, 505,382ha government-managed smallholdings and 98,637ha private smallholdings.

“The percentage of private smallholders throughout Malaysia, who have received the MSPO certification, is still low at just 10.1%.

“If smallholders do not get the MSPO certification, they will be at the losing end. So, through today’s dialogue, I hope the information can be conveyed to all smallholders and hopefully, they will get this certification soon,” she said.

Kok said Johor is ranked ninth in the country in terms of the MSPO with 418,541ha certified out of 747,562ha of the total area under oil palm.

The MSPO certification is an acknowledgment of plantations, smallholdings and palm oil mills abiding good agricultural practices that complied with environmental conservation efforts.

Present were Malaysian Palm Oil Board DG Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir, Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council CEO Chew Jit Seng and Johor Lama state assemblyman Rosleli Jahari.