Hotline for Sabah planters

The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, will continue to ramp up activities to support the already soft crude palm oil prices (CPO) from falling further.

In a statement yesterday, the ministry said due to weak CPO prices, there are cases in Sabah where millers are not buying fresh fruit bunches (FFB), thus affecting the income of the commodity producers, especially the smallholders.

"The ministry views this scenario seriously as it will affect the livelihood of smallholders, and together with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), it has set up a hotline to help smallholders who have difficulty in selling their FFBs to millers."
Starting January 1 2013, the government will slash CPO export duty from 23 per cent to between 4.5 per cent and 8.5 per cent. It will also stop exports of duty free CPO.

In a move to reduce national stockpile, the government has also sped up implementation of the B5 programme and encourage other sectors to use palm oil-based fuel up to 10 per cent of their daily fuel.

The ministry and the MPOB will continuously monitor the situation closely and will take action to ensure operations are not disrupted. The phone numbers are: Kota Kinabalu 088-493700; Sandakan 089-224248; Tawau 089-777611; and Lahad Datu 089-867545.