Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 32  June 2020 p.  159-190
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2020.0032

OIL PALM ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE IN MALAYSIA AND R&D PROGRESS IN 2019

Author(s): GHULAM KADIR AHMAD PARVEEZ*; ELINA HISHAMUDDIN*; SOH KHEANG LOH*; MEILINA ONG-ABDULLAH*; KAMALRUDIN MOHAMED SALLEH*; MOHD NOOR IZUDDIN ZANAL BIDIN*; SHAMALA SUNDRAM*; ZAFARIZAL ALDRIN AZIZUL HASAN* and ZAINAB IDRIS*

Despite the uptrend recorded for crude palm oil (CPO) production, yields and exports in general, and an improved overall performance in the last quarter of 2019, the low export price for most part of the year could not steer the industry away from a decline (4%) in the total export revenue. Sustainable endeavours continue to dominate the palm oil research scene and rightfully so especially when the industry is faced with multi-dimensional challenges. With land expansion being marginal, the importance of good agricultural practice and soil health cannot be relegated as a means towards narrowing yield gaps aside from improving the oil palm’s genetic potential. The industry’s pursuit for circular economy has also led to the adoption of key technologies at every level of the process value chain with zero waste as the ultimate goal. Apart from driving sustainability, the industry has also doubled its efforts in ensuring that palm oil is safe. It is evident that the natural properties of the palm oil make it a healthier and versatile choice for food and its derivatives, respectively. However, its processing methods though need further scrutiny and transformation to allay concerns of its safety. Moving towards a greener and cleaner future, environment-centric policies have helped accelerate the adoption of bio-based materials fuelling palm oil’s divergence further into the chemical and energy sectors. To advance the industry’s commitment towards sustainability, the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification was made mandatory embedded as a national policy. With it becoming effective from 1 January 2020, it is anticipated that demand for certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) will soar and for those who heed the content of the MSPO will come to realise that sustainability lies beyond forests. In general, 2019 was indeed a challenging year for the palm oil industry as a whole, however, this could be deemed a blessing in disguise as the industry has not only risen to the occasion but has proven to be a force to be reckoned with.

Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

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


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