RM297 Million Fund for Oil Palm Smallholders

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok

will launch a RM297 million allocation for oil palm smallholders to

replace their aged trees on Jan 31 in Sabah.

This initiative

could assist smallholders to replant oil palm trees of 25 years and

above with high quality new clones, said Performance Management and

Delivery Unit (Pemandu) director John Low.

“We hope this

programme will transform the palm oil industry and boost the income of

some 160,000 smallholders nationwide,” he told reporters on the

sidelines of Reach & Teach Friends of The Industry Seminar here

today.

Under the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs), the palm

oil industry is targeted to raise total gross national income

contribution by RM125 billion to reach RM178 billion by 2020.

In order to improve productivity, Low said a newly improved version of

the tool used for harvesting oil palm fresh fruit bunches, Cantas, would

be introduced in March.

Pemandu also planned to deploy 70

officers to assist smallholders on best agricultural practices and

select the best fresh fruit bunches with the highest yield in April.

“We target to operate 36 biogas facilities at palm mills nationwide by year end to boost downstream business,” he said.

Low said Pemandu would also fund clinical research in the US
as oil palm products approved by the US Food and Drug Administration could enter any markets in the world.

“We

are trying to export more new blended cooking oils globally. We are

finalising several matters to enter in a bigger way the South Korean

market,” he said.

Currently, 80 percent of the country’s palm oil sector involves the upstream business. — Bernama

Source : Business Times

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