Smallholders have been urged to apply for the RM510 million oil palm replanting budget said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong. (Pix by ROSLIN MAT TAHIR)

BESTARI JAYA: Smallholders have been urged to apply for the RM510 million oil palm replanting budget said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

“This additional RM510 million oil palm replanting budget that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has announced is good news for some 600,000-odd smallholders. It is available for the next three years (from now) to 2020,” he told reporters this after the prime minister launched the Malaysian Palm Oil Industry 100th Anniversary celebration.

“I would like to clarify the RM40 million oil palm replanting budget for 2017 is included in the RM510 million top up announced today,” Mah explained, adding an existing RM1.75 billion budget was already in place since 2010.

The grand centennial celebration of commercial oil palm cultivation held at Sime Darby’s Tennamaran Estate in Bestari Jaya, Kuala Selangor here earlier today saw the participation of 5,000 oil palm smallholders.

Also present at the celebration was Jeremie Fontaine, the great grandson of Frenchman Henri Fauconnier.

Fauconnier was the first planter in Malaysia who commercialised oil palm cultivation at the Tennamaram Estate in Kuala Selangor, a hundred years ago. Today, this estate belongs to Sime Darby Bhd.

Mah also stated that Malaysia will continue to appeal against the European Union’s (EU) suggestion for a single Certified Sustainable Palm Oil scheme for Europe-bound palm oil shipment.

Leaders of other big exporters of palm oil, including Indonesia, Costa Rica and Ecuador, have reportedly also expressed concern over the EU discriminatory proposal that would hurt global palm oil trade.

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