Oil palm dealers concerned over MPOB new rules

This was published in NST business times yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR, 31 Dec 2010 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia Oil Palm Dealers Association (MOPDA) has expressed concern over the move by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to bar dealers from buying and selling oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB).

MOPDA President Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah said the new ruling was not beneficial to the stakeholders, particularly dealers and the industry as a whole.

"We are deeply concerned about this despite objections being raised at the meeting last year with MPOB in relation to the proposed imposition of such condition in their respective licences of oil palm dealers," he told a press conference here today.

The buying and selling of FFB among dealers was the norm and if small dealers were not allowed to trade among themselves, this would result in loss of employment, income and the eventual folding of the enterprises, he said.

The MPOB ruling, which takes effect 1st Jan 2011, is meant for estates, smallholders and dealers to sell directly to millers. In the process, MPOB think this will prevent small dealers from being monopolised by big dealers, and enhance the quality of oil palm fruits. The government wants the nation's oil extraction rate to exceed 25 per cent.

Abdul Fattah said the ruling would cause a lot of hardship to small enterprises due to their limited financial resources and logistics and transportation problems.

"Therefore, we propose an in depth study ought to be made by MPOB to resolve this problem of low oil extraction rate rather than imposing such ruling.

"Those millers who fail to achieve their targets will have to face the consequences including the need for mandatory takeover by the government in the interest of the industry," he said.

Abdul Fattah said MPOB must focus on the enhancement of oil yield extraction process through the introduction of new technology and good agricultural practices with the necessary support of government schemes to replace old, low-yielding trees.

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