Malaysia committed to cap total oil palm planted area at 6.5m hectares


Cap on planted area means the country must accelerate productivity through technology, while addressing issues such as shortage of foreign workers.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will maintain its plan to limit total oil palm cultivated area at 6.5 million hectares, according to Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry Secretary General Ravi Muthayah.

* Malaysia will also ban conversion of permanent forest reserved area for oil palm cultivation, no new planting will be allowed in peatland areas, Ravi said at an online industry conference Tuesday.

* Cap on planted area means the country must accelerate productivity through technology, while addressing issues such as shortage of foreign workers.

* NOTE: Malaysia is world’s second-largest palm oil producer.

* Malaysia crude palm oil production estimated at 19.5 million tonnes in 2020; exports seen at 17.7 million tonnes

* Industry facing several challenges including high dependency on foreign laboUr, selective negative reporting by NGOs blaming palm as the main cause of deforestation, allegations of forced labor, as well as protectionism and unfair treatment by EU policies.

* Malaysia is concerned about the impact of the EU Green Deal on its palm industry.

* Plan includes farm-to-fork strategy that may impose additional burden for palm oil to enter EU supply chains.

* Malaysia committed to ensure “each drop of oil is sustainably produced”, Ravi said.

* As of December, 5.1 million out of 5.9 million hectares of oil palm planted area has Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification; 96% out of 452 palm mills also MSPO-certified. - Bloomberg

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