Malaysia a world-class palm oil player — MPOA
03 Oct 2023
Palm oil is one of the few rare sectors Malaysia can truly claim to be a world-class player, and it should continue to be seen as a vital economic sector that complements the new economic order, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Association.
Chairman Datuk Lee Yow Chor said although Malaysia is now the second largest palm oil producer behind Indonesia, its agronomic management, research and development knowledge and downstream processing are still widely regarded as superior and best-in-class.
“Many Malaysian palm oil companies have been invited to set up oil palm plantations in various countries, and several of them have set up downstream processing plants in emerging and developed Western countries.
“Today, the world emphasises the green economy and food security. These are also two of the eight economic strategies outlined in the Madani Economic framework launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in July,” he said in his speech at the MPOA gala dinner tonight.
Lee said palm oil is a natural and renewable source of food, energy and chemicals due to its hydrocarbons of various chain lengths.
Its by-products, such as empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibres and kernel shells, can be converted into paper pulp, food containers and activated carbon.
Additionally, the biogas generated from the effluent in palm oil mills can be converted into electricity for local consumption or connection to the national electricity grid.
“During replanting, felled tree trunks can be converted into wood panels for furniture or building materials. The green potentials of this sector are manifold, and some have yet to be explored or utilised fully.
“Regarding food security, Malaysia produces sufficient vegetable oil for domestic consumption. It exports a staggering 85 per cent of its palm oil production to countries worldwide,” he said.
In today’s era of climate change and limited arable land, this self-sufficiency and net export capability serve as an important socio-economic stabiliser within the country and also give Malaysia a powerful leverage promoting multi-lateral relations with other countries.
Lee reaffirmed MPOA’s commitment to work closely with all stakeholders in the Malaysian palm oil sector for its betterment and progress.
Formed in 1999, the MPOA is an umbrella organisation for oil palm growers, representing companies with more than 300,000 hectares (ha) to small growers with 50 ha. Collectively, they own 1.8 million ha.
The MPOA celebrates its 25th anniversary next year.