KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has asked oil palm smallholders to register as members of Koperasi Penanam Sawit Mampan (KPSM) to benefit from its activities to boost their palm productivity and income.
Chairman Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub said the establishment of KPSM under the MPOB’s purview was a strategic move by the government to ensure smallholders’ involvement in the new economic model through cooperatives and small and medium industries.
“KPSM can carry out business activities that have direct impact on income of smallholders such as selling of fresh fruit bunches (FFB), buying and selling of agricultural inputs and other businesses in groups to strengthen the cooperative’s financial resources which can then be distributed as dividends to members,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Ahmad Jazlan said the government took the initiative to set up KPSM under the Malaysian Cooperative Commission Act to encourage smallholders to carry out oil palm cultivation in accordance with good agricultural practices.
He said various forms of assistance and support were channelled by the government to intensify cooperative activities, including the introduction a RM200,000 grant for the construction of a weighing centre for a cooperative.
He said the provision of the grant as capital is to cover the cost of site preparation, platform construction and purchase of weighbridges by KPSM.
“The government, via MPOB, is also providing a soft loan scheme to KPSM for additional capital to expand palm oil transaction activities with an allocation of RM100,000 for each cooperative,” he said.
The provision of the soft loan can increase KPSM’s ability, especially in cash purchases of oil palm fruit supplied by smallholders, he said, adding that so far 10 KPSMs have enjoyed this loan scheme.
As at Aug 31, 65 KPSMs have been established nationwide, including 21 in Peninsular Malaysia, 26 in Sabah and 18 in Sarawak, while 43 KPSMs has implemented group FFB selling of a total of 120,302.74 tonnes of FFB directly to refineries.
In Kinabatangan, KPSM Daerah Kinabatangan Sabah Bhd, which was established on March 29, 2011 with a membership of 194 people, has started selling fresh fruit bunches in April 2015 and recorded total sales of 12,166 tonnes as at August 2020.
The construction of its own weighing centre will directly benefit smallholders participating in KPSM.-Bernama