KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 5.5 million hectares or 97.88 per cent of the total 5.6 million oil palm planted areas in the country have obtained the Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification as at Jan 31 this year, said Deputy Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Siti Aminah Aching.

She said the overall performance of the MSPO achievement is rated through the oil palm plantation areas that have been MSPO-certified compared with the oil palm plantations licensed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

According to the MSPO Trace application, there are two types of reports on plantation areas, namely the total areas marked for the purpose of MSPO certification and oil palm plantation areas that have been MSPO-certified.

The MSPO-certified palm plantation area is different from the total area covered for the purpose of MSPO certification.

“With this, the percentage of oil palm plantation areas that have been certified with MSPO compared with oil palm planted areas licensed by MPOB until Jan 31, 2023 was 97.88 per cent and not 113.99 per cent (as shown by MPSO Trace app),” she said during the question-and-answer session in Dewan Rakyat today.

She was responding to a question from Teresa Kok Suh Sim (PH-Seputeh) on why the oil palm planted areas certified with MSPO had reached 113.99 per cent on MSPO Trace app as of January 2023.

The government had previously capped the total oil palm planted areas to 6.5 million hectares nationwide.

Meanwhile, Siti Aminah said the ministry is always committed to helping the smallholders reduce the cost of planting oil palm which has been increasing at present.

“The government is always thinking of providing contributions or incentives to assist smallholders but this would still depend on its ability to provide such assistances,” she said in reply to a supplementary question from Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman (PN-Sik) who wanted to know if the ministry would provide subsidies to the smallholders. - Bernama