MSPO Certification Scheme briefing for oil palm smallholders in Teluk Intan

TELUK INTAN, PERAK : The Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) Certification Scheme’s journey continued today with the holding of a briefing session at the Grand Court Hotel, Teluk Intan which was officiated by the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC), YB Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and attended by more than 200 participants made up mostly the oil palm smallholders.

The briefing is aimed to disseminate important information on MSPO Certification Scheme as well as a platform for interaction relating to MSPO implementation.

In 2016, Malaysia with 5.74 million hectares of planted oil palm area, is the second largest world palm oil producer with export value of RM67.6 billion that contributes 8.6% to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The palm oil industry is an important component of the agriculture sector in Malaysia and has been instrumental in addressing rural poverty and employment opportunities. This industry is important to the livelihood of more than 550,000 small farmers who accounts for close to 40% of the total planted area.

Whereas for Teluk Intan area, there is 108,538 hectares of total planted oil palm area under some 10,000 oil palm smallholders.

As of March 2017, the total planted area that has been MSPO-certified is 245,600 hectares covering the three regions of Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak. This certified area includes 238,545 ha under plantation companies covering 74 estates, 3,868 ha under two clusters of organised smallholders, and 3,187 ha under the independent smallholders from 14 SPOCs. Meanwhile, a total of 23 mills have also been MSPO-certified.

As announced earlier, the Malaysian government has made a proposal with regard to mandatory compliance of the MSPO certification in stages.

The government will soon be making available financial incentives to support the industry with the mandatory MSPO certification compliance processes.

Similar briefing will continue to be held nationwide this year with the target location where there is concentrated number of oil palm smallholders. This include Johor (Segamat and Kluang) in May, Selangor (Shah Alam and Bestari Jaya) in June, Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Sarawak (Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri) in July, Kedah, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak and Sabah (Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu) in August.

Meanwhile, in his welcoming remarks, MPOCC CEO Harnarinder Singh pointed out that the briefing at Teluk Intan was one of the many briefings held for the various stakeholders in the country, particularly the oil palm growers and millers, to raise their awareness and technical know-how pertaining to the MSPO Certification Scheme.

At the briefing session, presentations on MPOCC and the MSPO Scheme, standards used, certification of smallholder plantings under the Sustainable Palm Oil Cluster (SPOCs) system, and MSPO certification procedures were made.

The MSPO Certification Scheme was launched in January 2015. The scheme is implemented by the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC), an independent organisation set up in October 2015. Since then, the MSPO certification has been on a voluntary basis.