Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 26  2014 March p.  1-24

The Future of Oil Palm as a Major Global Crop: Opportunities and Challenges

Author(s): Denis J Murphy*

In recent years, the oil palm sec­tor has wit­nessed a period of his­tor­i­cally high prices with buoy­ant global demand and high lev­els of pro­duc­tion dri­ven largely by eco­nomic devel­op­ment in major Asian coun­tries such as India and China. How­ever, the oil palm sec­tor is also con­fronted by many impor­tant chal­lenges that require atten­tion. Such chal­lenges include frag­men­ta­tion of the indus­try, stag­nat­ing yields, and an image prob­lem that is largely due to the con­ver­sion of trop­i­cal rain­for­est and peat­lands in a few regions in South-east Asia. The bio­log­i­cal and man­age­r­ial tools to sur­mount these chal­lenges already exist but need more focussed appli­ca­tion and polit­i­cal sup­port. Poten­tially ground­break­ing bio­log­i­cal tools include the new mol­e­c­u­lar breed­ing tech­nolo­gies, such as those made pos­si­ble by the recent pub­li­ca­tion of the oil palm genome sequence (Singh et al., 2013a, b). Two key R&D tar­gets for the indus­try are:

• higher oil yield in fruits and trees; and
• higher meso­carp oleic acid com­po­si­tion – prefer­ably over 65% w/w.

The more focussed use of new and tra­di­tional tech­nolo­gies can also help to con­front pest and dis­ease prob­lems, to redesign of crop archi­tec­ture, and to facil­i­tate yield and har­vest­ing effi­ciency. In the medi­umterm future, we can look for­ward to a con­sid­er­able geo­graph­i­cal exten­sion of oil palm cul­ti­va­tion in a broad zone across the trop­ics of Africa, Asia and the Amer­i­cas. If these and other mea­sures can be taken, increased palm oil out­put could more than meet the high­est pro­jec­tions for future veg­etable oil require­ments while min­imis­ing adverse envi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences. Improved oil palm vari­eties could also con­sid­er­ably increase the global mar­ket share for this highly pro­duc­tive trop­i­cal crop at the expense of some of the less effi­cient tem­per­ate oilseed crops.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* University of South Wales, CF37 4AT, United Kingdom.

Cited By

1. Arniza, M. Z., et al. "Synthesis of Transesterified Palm Olein-Based Polyol and Rigid Polyurethanes from this Polyol." JAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 92(2) (2015): 243-255.
2. Barcelos, E., et al. "Oil Palm Natural Diversity and the Potential for Yield Improvement." Frontiers in Plant Science 6 (MAR) (2015): 1-16.
3. Carrasco, L. R., et al. "Tropical crops: cautious optimism Response" Science 346(6212) (2014): 928.
4. Parveez, Ghulam Kadir Ahmad; Rasid, Omar Abdul; Masani, Mat Yunus Abdul; et al. "Biotechnology of oil palm: strategies towards manipulation of lipid content and composition" Plant Cell Reports 34(4) (2014) Special Issue: 533-543
5. Sundram, S., et al. "Application of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa UPMP3 Reduces the Development of Ganoderma Basal Stem Rot Disease in Oil Palm Seedlings." Mycorrhiza 25(5) (2014): 387-97.
6. Chen, G., et al. "Acyl-Trafficking during Plant Oil Accumulation." Lipids 50(11) (2015): 1057-1068.
7. Izawati, A. M. D., et al. "Evaluation on the Effectiveness of 2-Deoxyglucose-6-Phosphate Phosphatase (DOGR1) Gene as a Selectable Marker for Oil Palm (Elaeis Guineensis Jacq.) Embryogenic Calli Transformation Mediated by Agrobacterium Tumefaciens." Frontiers in Plant Science 6(September) (2015)
8. Kanadasan, J., et al. "Feasibility Studies of Palm Oil Mill Waste Aggregates for the Construction Industry." Materials 8(9) (2015): 6508-6530.
9. Kanadasan, J., and H. A. Razak. "Utilization of Palm Oil Clinker as Cement Replacement Material." Materials 8(12) (2015): 8817-8838.
10. Sarpan, N., et al. "A Model for Predicting Flower Development in Elaeis Guineensis Jacq." Journal of Oil Palm Research 27(4) (2015): 315-325.
11. Somnuek, S., M. M. A. Slingerland, and C. M. Grünbühel. "The Introduction of Oil Palm in Northeast Thailand: A New Cash Crop for Smallholders?" Asia Pacific Viewpoint 57(1) (2016): 76-90.
12. Ting, N. -C, et al. "Fine-Mapping and Cross-Validation of QTLs Linked to Fatty Acid Composition in Multiple Independent Interspecific Crosses of Oil Palm." BMC Genomics 17(1) (2016):289.
13. Samsudin, E. M., et al. "Comparison on Acoustic Performance between Dust and Coir Form Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) as Sound Absorption Material." Jurnal Teknologi 78(5) (2016): 191-196.
14. Jaradat, A. A. "Breeding Oilseed Crops for Climate Change." Breeding Oilseed Crops for Sustainable Production: Opportunities and Constraints., 2015: 421-472.
15. Tabi Mbi, K., et al. "Mature Zygotic Embryo Rescue Improves in Vitro Germination and Seedling Production in High Value Oil Palm (Elaeis Guineensis Jacq.) Cultivars." Industrial Crops and Products 94 (2016): 445-53.
16. Murphy, D. J. "Roles of Genomics in Addressing Global Food Security." Genomics and Society: Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Socioeconomic Implications. 2015. 259-270.
17. Or, K. H., A. Putra, and M. Z. Selamat. "Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fibres as Sustainable Acoustic Absorber." Applied Acoustics 119 (2017): 9-16.
18. Roslan, N. D., et al. "Comparison of RNA Extraction Methods for RT-PCR Detection of Coconut Cadang-Cadang Viroid Variant in Orange Spotting Oil Palm Leaves." Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 38(3) (2016): 382-388.
19. Sandoval-García, A. -M, et al. "Chemical Characterization of Oil obtained by Homemade Methods from Three African Palm Varieties (Elaeis Guineensis Jacq.)." Revista Fitotecnia Mexicana 39(3) (2016): 317-322.
20. Woittiez, L. S., et al. "Yield Gaps in Oil Palm: A Quantitative Review of Contributing Factors." European Journal of Agronomy 83 (2017): 57-77.
21. Yusoff, N. M., F. M. Muharam, and S. Khairunniza-Bejo. "Towards the use of Remote-Sensing Data for Monitoring of Abandoned Oil Palm Lands in Malaysia: A Semi-Automatic Approach." International Journal of Remote Sensing 38(2) (2017): 432-449.

Source: Scopus
Last updated: 24 February 2017

Search for ARTICLE

Most cited articles


Subscribe with us to get the latest information on Palm Oil Research from MPOB today!

Indexed /Reviewed by