Oil palm industry has contributed significantly to the Malaysian economy. In both Malaysia and Indonesia, about 35%-40% of oil palms were planted by the smallholders, which produced an average of 33% from the total production of crude palm oil. Under the 9th Malaysian Plan (2006- 2010), a grant amounted RM37.6 million in the form of good quality of oil palm seedling have been allocated to 5697 smallholders through Oil Palm Seedling Assistance Scheme (SBABB) implemented by Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). Previous study showed that only 10% of SBABB participants produced fresh fruit bunch (FFB) up to 10 t/ha/yr, while others produced less than this yield. Thus, this study was to investigate the level of Knowledge, Attitudes and Skill (KAS) towards GAP among the SBABB participants. This study was carried out in Sabah and Sarawak and the data were collected from a total of 180 respondents selected through Simple Random Sampling Method. They were interviewed using five section structured questionnaires. Most smallholders were between 48-59 years old and they had medium knowledge and skill in operating their farms. Majority of them owned between 1-7 ha of farm. In term of yield, majority respondent produced FFB between 10-20 t/ha/yr, which was lower than the average production of 20 t/ha/yr. The results also showed that 65% change in FFB production was affected by seven factors, five of which were positively correlated with production. These five factors were farm size, followed by farm management knowledge, farm operation skills, perception towards SBABB itself and perception toward MPOB as implementer agency. These factors were important determinants to enhance the farmers’ yield. The study indicated that farm size, knowledge and skill were important determinants affecting the implementation of GAP among the participants of SBABB.
Keywords: good agriculture practices, oil palm, FFB, attitude knowledge, skills