Hike in price of fertilisers: KPSM must help smallholders, says Wee

TAWAU: Sustainable Oil Palm Growers Co-operatives (KPSM) can play a role to help oil palm smallholders face the hike in agricultural input prices such as fertilisers, says Deputy Minister of Industry, Plantation and Commodities Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng.

He said KPSM could discuss with suppliers to buy fertilisers in bulk to help the smallholders reduce their operational expenditure.

“We are aware this issue is not easy to overcome in the short term, it’s not only fertilisers or pesticides for oil palm, but is an issue plaguing all agricultural fields.

“The hike in the price of fertiliser is due to the policy issues of countries abroad and, not to mention, we depend on imported raw materials to manufacture the fertilisers.

“This is not only experienced by Malaysia, but the whole world,” he told reporters after launching the Tawau KPSM weighing centre here on Sunday (June 19).

As of May this year, 69 KPSMs have been established, including 27 in Sabah, while 61 KPSM carried out clustered Fresh Fruit Bunch (BTS) sales directly to the factory totalling 314,834.15 tonnes.

In the meantime, Wee said his ministry also encouraged oil palm plantation operators to use organic waste fertilisers optimally to replace chemical fertilisers.

“This is among the alternative measures taken following the hike in the price of fertilisers,” he added. – Bernama