Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 30  June 2018 p.  163-195
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2018.0030

OIL PALM ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE IN MALAYSIA AND R&D PROGRESS IN 2017 – Review Article

Author(s): KUSHAIRI, A*; SOH KHEANG LOH*; AZMAN, I*; ELINA HISHAMUDDIN*; MEILINA ONG-ABDULLAH*; ZANAL BIDIN MOHD NOOR IZUDDIN*; RAZMAH, G *; SHAMALA SUNDRAM* and GHULAM KADIR AHMAD PARVEEZ*

Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) has emerged as a major economic crop feeding the world today. This article aims to capture the more recent progress made by the oil palm industry and to discuss the possible path research and development will take in the coming years. In 2017, palm oil and palm kernel oil production recorded close to one-third (75.17 million tonnes) of world total oils and fats production from a planted area of 19.04 million hectares, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia. Malaysian palm oil alone fetched RM 46.12 billion export revenue from its India and European Union markets. The continuous growth of the industry is made possible through implementation of key strategies covering the whole process chain, from upstream to downstream. Intensified mechanisation, integrated pest and Ganoderma management, advanced breeding and biotechnology as well as good agricultural practices help boost oil palm yields for both plantations and smallholdings. In the palm oil milling sector, focus such as by-products valorisation, biogas (productivity, trapping and utilisation as a form of energy) and wastewater management, i.e. palm oil mill effluent for final discharge compliance ensures that the industry meets its sustainable goals. Palm oil is generally used for edible purpose, however about 20% goes into higher value non-food applications such as palm biodiesel. The beneficial nutritional aspects of palm oil are evident based on its positional distribution and fatty acids composition, while its quality enhanced via technology integration/mitigation and analytical elucidations. Facing strong competition from petrochemicals, palm-based oleochemicals are strategically aimed at producing value-added products for niche and new markets. It is apparent that synergising conventional and disruptive technologies at every level of the palm oil supply chain is desirable and essential to thrust the industry forward. As a commodity, palm oil has not only emerged as an important food source, but has proven to be effectively utilised for feed, fuels and chemicals, to name a few, in developing a sustainable and balanced circular economy.

Keywords: , , , , , ,

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


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