KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government, which has a long way to go in terms of increasing its stake in producing sustainable palm oil, is committed to increasing the number of certified local palm oil products.
Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said in his closing address to the 16th Annual Conference of the Sustainable Palm Oil Round today that the state will commit to more palm oil production to reach the Round Table of the Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) at the same time.
In 2017, Sabah produced more than 5.2 million metric tons (TM) of crude palm oil, accounting for more than 30 percent of Malaysian palm oil produced.
Between January and October this year, Sabah produced about 1.55 million tonnes of CPO, of which 28% were certified.
About 400,000 hectares of plantations are certified by the RSPO, of which 3,960 are smallholders. Sabah has about 623 small players.
"Therefore, Sabah can play an important role in the sustainable palm oil industry. Sabah is one of the largest producers of palm oil certified by RSPO, "said Tangau, citing the numbers.
While assisting small-scale farmers in the state, Tangau said that while incentives, such as donations, are from the federal government, land titles come under the purview of the state government with which the state government is helping the groups mentioned.
In the government's decision to make the MSPO certification mandatory by the end of 2019, Tangau said it will help in any way possible.
"I'm happy that the federal government is spending money to do this, if we reach that goal it's another story," he added.