492,000 smallholders to obtain MSPO certification by year-end

by BERNAMA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) targets about 492,000 smallholders nationwide to be certified with the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification by year-end, said its chairman Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub.

The certification by the MSPO, he said, was crucial to ensure the commodity produced by smallholders adhered to the requirements set by the developed countries, especially in Europe.

Presently, about 62,009 private smallholders with 243,666ha of oil palm plantations and 231,576 organised smallholders with 670,010ha of oil palm have obtained the MSPO certification.

“Organised smallholders are very easy to obtain MSPO’s certification as they are under the supervision of various government agencies such as the South Kelantan Development Authority, Central Terengganu Development Authority, South East Johor Development Authority and others.

“However, for private smallholders, it is difficult (to get the MSPO certification) because the MPOB needs to meet and inform them. It will be done from time to time, so they can get the certification as well,” he said.

Ahmad Jazlan told reporters after launching the state “Jom MSPO” programme with the MPOB chairman at Bukit Tiu in Machang, Kelantan, yesterday.

Also present were the state’s executive councillor for Human Development, Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology Datuk Dr Mohamed Fadzli Hassan, MPOB DG Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir and Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council chairman Muhtar Suhaili.

Commenting further, Ahmad Jazlan said any smallholder who did not obtain the MSPO certification could be fined and compounded under Rule 15 of the MPOB Act and to have their licence revoked.

Although the rule has been in effect since July 1, the government, according to him, had yet to decide on the amount of penalties that would be imposed under the regulations to any smallholders who did not yet obtain the certification.

“Smallholders need not worry as the government has allocated RM135 per ha to cover the costs obtaining the certification,” he said.