21/02/2024 06:35 PM

KENINGAU, Feb 21 (Bernama) -- One hundred and sixty two Sustainable Palm Oil Clusters (SPOC) involving 177,355 private palm oil smallholders (PKP) have received the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification under the Malaysian Palm Oil Board  (MPOB) as at Dec 31 last year.

Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin said the PKP involved a farm area of 655,189.62 hectares while in Sabah, there are 29 SPOC which received MSPO certification involving 21,630 PKP with a farm acreage of 145,399.9 hectares

"The government provides incentive funding for training, auditing, personal protective equipment and chemical storage rack to continue to assist the PKP in implementing MSPO Certification.

"To ensure the comprehensive implementation of the MSPO, the MPOB established 12 Oil Palm Training and Advisory Offices (TUNAS) in Sabah to provide advisory services on oil palm planting and technology transfer to the MCO," he told Bernama after officiating the Smallholders Palm Oil Replanting Financing Incentive Scheme (TSPKS) 2.0 at Sabah level in Sook near here today.

Chan said that as at Dec 31 last year there were 31,538 PKPs working on oil palm plantations with an area of 203,679.57 hectares in Sabah with the average area of oil palm plantations per PKP being 6.5 hectares.

"Until that period, a total of 69 Sustainable Palm Growers' Cooperatives (KPSM) and 69 Weighing Centres have been established across the country and 27 KPSM are located in Sabah with a total membership of 2,769 people.

"The establishment of KPSM is to unify PKP to carry out economic activities through good agricultural practices and the sale of palm fruit in groups directly to the factory. This step can increase PKP's income through subscription rebates and dividends from cooperative business profits," he said.

He said the PKP also got a better price offer for fresh fruit bunches (BTS) and it was easy to get the latest information related to assistance from the government as well as direct advice from MPOB officials.

Regarding the event, Chan said his ministry through MPOB provided TSPKS 2.0 which was channelled through Agrobank which set a repayment amount of 50 per cent of the total amount of funds given, with a moratorium period of 48 months.

"Smallholders need to take advantage of the facilities provided by the government to increase their income potential through the replanting of old palm trees," he said.

He said application information for the TSPKS 2.0 Financing Incentive Scheme can be obtained at TUNAS MPOB offices and the application form for the scheme can be found online on the MPOB website or Agrobank branches nationwide.

"Until Jan 31 this year, a total of 27 TSPKS 2.0 scheme applications have been received in Sabah with an area of 125.2 hectares," he added.


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