SABAH is committed to develop its oil palm sector through Entry Point Projects (EPPs) and ensure continuous improvement in environmental management under the industry.
The EPPs includes replanting of oil palm, improving fresh fruit bunch yields, increasing oil extraction rate and improving workers’ productivity, as well as developing biogas facilities at palm oil mills.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, at the opening the East Malaysia Planters’ Association (EMPA) seminar in Sandakan last week, said the development of the state’s oil palm sector is in line with the national Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) goals.
“For Sabah specifically, we are looking at commercialisation of second-generation bio-fuels or non-food biomass and this is currently being developed,” he added.
He said though Malaysia’s palm oil sector has been acknowledged as strategic and well-planned, there are gaps in the level of adoption of good agricultural practices.
Mutual cooperation was necessary to ensure business opportunities were translated into conservation benefits, where partnerships should be in the best interest of landowners, local communities and the environment, he said.
“The varied scenery, wildlife and history of Sabah are among our most important resources and balanced development is critical for future growth,” he added.
He said conservation efforts were not just within the capacity or responsibility of one key player but requires all stakeholders to ensure areas like those around Lower Kinabatangan region are developed sustainably.
Source : New Straits Times