Friday, January 1, 2010

DUN Sitting (Day Seven): Goverment Plans To Implement Eight EPP Along The Palm Oil Value Chain, says Masing

(Nov 09, 2010)

KUCHING -- The Sarawak state government plans to implement eight core Entry Point Projects (EPP) along the palm oil value chain under the palm oil National Key Economic Areas (NKEA).

Minister of Land Development Datuk Seri James Jemut Masing said the EPP is important, especially in Sarawak, as development of the palm oil industry remains heavily biased towards upstream activities.

He said under the upstream activities, the EPP would focus on improving productivity and sustainability, in order to transform the palm oil plantation.
This is to be done, he added, by accelerating the replanting of aging oil palms, mechanising plantations using equipment such as Cantas, stringently enforcing best practices, implementing strict quality control parameters and developing biogas facilities at palm oil mills.

Masing in his winding up speech at 16th State Assembly today said, the EPP for downstream expansion and sustainability, would target at capturing the lucrative downstream segment where the country has little presence today.

He said the EPP downstream would be achieved by focusing on development finished segments that generate high value, including expediting oleo-derivatives growth,commercialising second-generation biofuels and expediting the growth of selected food and health based segments of the industry.

"All these initiatives certainly augurs well for the future of the palm oil industry in Sarawak which is considered the last frontier for a further expansion of oil palm plantations in Malaysia," he added.

In view of the industry's increasing contribution to state revenue, Masing said, there is a need to look seriously into a more aggressive development of the Native Customary Right (NCR) land, comprising an estimated 1.5 million hectares that is underutilised.

He said his ministry is now requesting the Federal government to consider a proposal for funds to assist in financing the development of the NCR land.

"In fact, the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Lab for Sabah/Sarawak Bumiputeras on Native Customary Rights and Legal Matters, has proposed the creation of a dedicated fund for NCR land development," he highlighted.

Without such assistance, Masing said, the NCR landowners in the rural areas of Sarawak would not stand counted as an integral part of a developed nation come 2020.


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