KUALA LUMPUR: KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Bernama) -- The implementation of the palm oil smallholder cluster model can contribute an additional nine million tonnes of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) producing roughly 1.8 million tonnes of crude palm oil if all the 1.5 million hectares of land that belong to smallholders can be consolidated into clusters of 10,000 hectares, said Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

He said his ministry is working to unite all independent oil palm smallholders to form a larger cluster to further increase the country’s palm oil production.

“For example, if each independent smallholder has four hectares, we gather them all into a cluster in one area and (if) we can reach 10,000 hectares, then we can apply good plantation management practices so that the yield of each hectare can increase,” he said while winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address in the Dewan Negara yesterday.

Johari was responding to Senator Tan Sri Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh regarding the opening of new plantations to increase the country’s oil palm yield.

He said the ministry has also emphasised the importance of a replanting programme when a tree reaches 25 years of age as practised by the private sector.

Johari also noted that Malaysia does not have enough land to explore new plantation sites.

“We have no land, we only have 5.7 million hectares for oil palm... We are faced with a standard guideline which is imposed on countries that produce ‘edible oil’, which is that any palm oil intended for export must come from land that has been forested before 2020.

“If not, we will be considered as a country that does not take into account the issue of deforestation and it interferes with the export of palm oil abroad,” he said.

The Dewan Negara proceedings continue on Monday (April 1, 2024). -Bernama