The story of the palm oil industry in Malaysia in pictures

Harvesting oil palm fruit bunches is a skilled job that cannot be automated and relies heavily on manual labour. Photo: Malaysian Palm Oil Council

Palm oil is very much a part of our daily lifestyle. It can be found in everything from toothpastes, soaps, and detergents to more than half of the packaged foods found on supermarket shelves, as the versatile oil can be used for both food and non-food products. As an industry, palm oil contributed RM38.5bil to the country’s Gross Domestic Product last year, with oil palm plantations occupying over 5 million hectares of land in Malaysia.

To mark the centennial celebration of the industry in Malaysia, here are some special images that each tell a story about the different facets of the industry. – Compiled by Wong Li Za

palm oil
Plantation managers must be careful to keep the land free of pest-attracting undergrowth. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

palm oil
Tyto alba, or barn owls, are used in the biological control of destructive rats on plantations, as seen here at the Sime Darby plantation on Carey Island. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

palm oil
The oil palm produces two types of oils; crude palm oil from the fibrous mesocarp (pictured) and crude palm kernel oil from the kernels inside the fruits. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

palm oil
Malaysia’s certification standard allows small farmers to voluntarily contribute to the sustainable cultivation of oil palm. Photo: Malaysian Palm Oil Council

palm oil
Besides being a top source of vegetable oil, oil palm is also a food source for wildlife. Photo: Malaysian Palm Oil Council

palm oil
Smallholders have been important players since the early years of the Malaysian palm oil industry and now own about 40% of the planted areas. Photo: Malaysian Palm Oil Council

palm oil
Studies of weevils that pollinate oil palm reveal that the species Elaeidobius kamerunicus can increase productivity thanks to its ability to carry more pollen and adapt to a new climate. Photo: Malaysian Palm Oil Council

palm oil
The oil palm species commonly planted in Malaysia is Tenera (DxP), a cross between Dura and Pisifera. Photo: Malaysian Palm Oil Council

palm oil
Soap was one of the earliest products made from palm-based oleochemicals. Photo: Malaysian Palm Oil Council

More stories on Malaysian palm oil at

Proof of assurance to the global customer

100 glorious years of palm oil in Malaysia

Milestones in the palm oil industry

Palm oil industry poised for greater growth

Malaysian palm oil industry undaunted by smear campaigns

A council with clout

IOI Group’s Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng is bullish on palm oil’s propects

IOI Corporation Bhd is one of the most fully integrated plantation companies in the world

Genting Plantations Berhad moves forward with technology

Sime Darby Bhd continues to innovate, pushing the palm oil agenda to the fore

KLK growing from strength to strength

Felda – an economic powerhouse

Malaysia is ready to put in place a national sustainable palm oil certification

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: -1
Cxense type: NA
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Stories You'll Enjoy