Malaysian deputy minister warns dealers against buying FFB at low prices

MIRI (BERNAMA) – The Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry has sternly warned dealers of oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB) against buying the commodity at very low prices from the smallholders in Sarawak.

Its deputy minister, Willie Mongin, said that it was unacceptable for these dealers to give high cost of transportation as an excuse for buying the fruits at such prices.

“Stern action will be taken against those dealers who buy the FFB at unreasonably low prices.

“Some of those dealers are oppressing the smallholders by buying at a price differential of up to MYR120 (per tonne),” he said when officiating the Jom Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) Negeri Sarawak programme at Kampong Muhibbah Ladang Tiga in Sibuti.

He urged the smallholders not to hesitate to report the unscrupulous act of the dealers to the ministry. The price of oil palm fruits had increased to MYR545 per tonne recently, he said, drawing wide smiles among the smallholders in the rural areas.

Willie attributed the rise to the government’s continuous efforts in promoting a sustainable oil palm industry in the country.

The efforts had boosted confidence among palm oil importers on Malaysia’s good agricultural practices apart from the implementation of the MSPO certification scheme. “This MSPO certification helps us fight against slanders thrown at our palm oil industry. This, apart from improving its quality, has boosted the confidence of the importers,” he said, adding that among the slanders that had been used against Malaysia’s palm oil industry was the alleged usage of forced and child labour.

Workers at an oil palm plantation in Malaysia. PHOTO: BERNAMA