Billions of ringgit are wasted along the whole palm oil value chain every year but oil palm planters say closer ties with the government can prevent such losses.
"Let's say, if the government had approved recruitment ratio of one harvester to 10ha, we could have harvested an additional one million tonnes of palm oil. At a conservative pricing estimate of RM2,000 per tonne, opportunity loss in palm oil exports from Sabah works out to be RM2 billion," he said.
In a separate interview, Valentino Ting, another smallholder based in Sandakan said what he sees now is an ad hoc approach to complaints and that the same problems remain.
Last year, Sabah produced 5.45 million tonnes of palm oil and this should translate into some RM80 million of cess collected by MPOB. "We want MPOB to use a portion of the money collected to upgrade and expand bulking facilities at the ports. In case of a price plunge in the international market, smallholders like us can continue to sell fruits to the millers," he said.