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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Shoring up palm oil industry with environmental sustainability

KUCHING: The Government will continue to assist the palm oil industry in removing obstacles it faced in penetrating new markets with focus on enhancing environmental sustainability within the plantation sector.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the Government was focusing on renewable energy, particularly biofuel and biomass in the country.

He said the palm oil industry had a healthy output of palm biomass.       

“Indeed, it is estimated that only 10% of our plantation output is oil while the remaining 90% is biomass. Despite this staggering amount, we have not made the much-desired inroads into better biomass utilisation for greater income generation.       

“It is time to look into the relevant technology to make this idle sector workable, “ he said in his welcoming speech at the “Reach and Remind Friends of the Industry Seminar and Dialogue” on the challenges and opportunities in 2014 yesterday.

Douglas also said as the palm oil is traded in the global oils and fats market, the industry continued to face challenges of negative perception and allegations levelled by many quarters from all over the world.

These anti-palm oil sentiments are inflamed by non-governmental organisations that espoused environmental protection as their core commitment, while overlooking the contribution that the palm oil industry has made to global food security, poverty alleviation and economic development.

Despite these allegations, he said there were international brands that use palm oil proudly such as Nutella in France, the producer of the world famous chocolate spread with palm oil as the major ingredient.       

“They have came out openly and boldly in defence of Malaysian palm oil,” added Douglas.

As such, all players in the palm oil industry were encouraged to implement strategies towards continuous improvement to give global customers greater confidence in the Malaysian palm oil supply chain, he said.

“In this context, the Government is consistently urging companies to continuously innovate by investing in research and development, new technologies and smart partnership,” he added. — Bernama

Tags / Keywords: palm oil


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