Understanding the Features and Roles of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Oil Palm Growers Cooperatives in Sabah

Article history:
Received: 8 April 2019
Accepted: 21 June 2020

Available online: 29 September 2020

Page number: 22-28

Author: Zaki Aman*; Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahim**; Humaira Mat Taib*; Nazirah Che Jaafar*; and Amran Ariffin*

Sustainable Oil Palm Growers Cooperatives or known in Malay as
’Koperasi Penanam Sawit Mampan‘ (KPSM) is an instrument to increase
the income of oil palm smallholders and create employment opportunities
in Malaysia. KPSM members and Board of Directors (BOD) consist
of oil palm planters themselves. This study aims to investigate KPSM
board members’ characteristics and their understanding of their roles
in operating the KPSM. Data were collected from 104 KPSM board
members in Sabah. The quantitative research approach was used
and mean values were obtained for data analysis. The majority of the
respondents were found to be male with an average age of 53 years and
a moderate education level. The respondents were found to be aware of
their roles in communicating with other board members, carrying out
the cooperatives’ policies, monitoring the internal control system, and
complying with cooperative regulations. Most of the items that measured
the roles of the BOD scored above 4.0 based on a five-point Likert scale,
indicating good to excellent understanding. However, the respondents’
understanding of the KPSM reports was moderate with a mean value
of 3.98, which was mainly due to the respondents’ moderate education
level. This study also found that the majority of the respondents spent
2.2 days per month on average at their respective KPSM. KPSM needs
competent management to serve the members’ requirements and KPSM
board members need to have the appropriate knowledge to conceive new
ideas for their respective cooperative. This study suggests that further
research should be done to investigate why the younger generation is not
interested in agriculture cooperatives and to determine other factors that
influence the performance of agriculture cooperatives.

Keywords: oil palm smallholders, Board of Directors, cooperative, KPSM,
smallholder demographic profiles.

* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
6, Persiaran Institusi,
Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.
E-mail: zaki@mpob.gov.my

** AAGBS, Universiti Teknologi MARA,
40450 Shah Alam,
Selangor, Malaysia.