Palm oil production in Malaysia

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Mature oil palm plantation in Malaysia (2007)
New palm oil plantation in East Malaysia (2010)

Palm oil production is vital for the economy of Malaysia, which is the world's second- largest producer of the commodity.[1] The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is a government agency responsible for the promotion and development of the palm oil sector in the country. The country's palm oil industry produces about 90 million tones of lignocellulosic biomass, including empty fruit bunches, oil palm trunks, and oil palm fronds, as well as palm oil mill effluent (POME).[2] In 2010, in response to concerns about social and environmental impact of palm oil, the Malaysian Government pledged to limit palm oil plantation expansion by retaining at least half of the nation's land as forest cover.[3]

Research institutions[edit]

In the 1960s, research and development (R&D) in oil palm breeding began to expand after Malaysia's Department of Agriculture established an exchange program with West African economies and four private plantations formed the Oil Palm Genetics Laboratory.[4] The Malaysian government also established Kolej Serdang, which became the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in the 1970s to train agricultural and agroindustrial engineers and agribusiness graduates to conduct research in the field.

In 1979, with support from the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) and UPM, the government set up the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (Porim),[5] a public-and-private-coordinated institution, meaning Porim is run by representatives from government and industry[6] B.C. Sekhar was appointed founder and chairman. Porim's scientists work in oil palm tree breeding, palm oil nutrition and potential oleochemical use. Porim was renamed Malaysian Palm Oil Board in 2000.

In 2012, the Malaysian palm oil industry employed an estimated 491,000 workers.[7]

Malaysia's Sime Darby is the largest listed palm oil company globally, based on plantation area and fresh fruit bunch production.[8] The company was created through a Malaysian government initiated merger in December 2006.[9][10] The world's second-largest oil palm plantation company, Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FELDA), is also based in Malaysia.[11][12] Felda Global Ventures Holdings is the world's third largest palm oil company by planted acreage,[13] controlling over 850,000 ha of land in the country, including approximately 500,000 ha that it leases and manages for smallholders. [14]

Biodiesel[edit]

The Malaysian government established the National Biofuel Policy in 2006, which led to the implementation of the B5 mandate in some regions of the country. The B5 mandate requires that all diesel sold in these regions of Malaysia contain 5% palm oil biodiesel. This mandate is expected to be expanded nationwide in 2014, with plans to increase the minimum palm oil biodiesel content to 10%.[15] The biodiesel sector in Malaysia has struggled to become profitable, due in part to the high cost of crude palm oil, which led to a dip in biodiesel production in the late 2000s. In 2012, there were 20 biodiesel plants in Malaysia, of which 2 were operational by early 2013.[15][16] According to an advisor to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, biodiesel production in Malaysia is expected to double in 2013.[17][18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pakiam, Ranjeetha (September 16, 2013). "Malaysia Keeps Palm Oil Export Tax Unchanged to Spur Shipments". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Ibrahim, Osman & Usman 2007, p. 464.
  3. ^ Morales, Alex (18 November 2010). "Malaysia Has Little Room for Expanding Palm-Oil Production, Minister Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Hartley, C. W. S. (1988). The Oil Palm, 3rd edn. Longman Scientific and Technical, Harlow, U.K.
  5. ^ Development of Palm Oil and Related Products in Malaysia and Indonesia Rajah Rasiah & Azmi Shahrin, Universiti Malaya, 2006
  6. ^ Sharing Innovating Experiences 5/Agriculture and Rural Development in the South, Chapter 1-Oil Palm R&D Malaysia United Nations Office For South-South Cooperation
  7. ^ "MALAYSIA: Stagnating Palm Oil Yields Impede Growth". USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Satish K.B (11 January 2013). "Fitch rates Malaysia's Sime Darby 'A';outlook stable". Reuters. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "SYNERGY DRIVE FORMS MERGER INTEGRATION COMMITTEE" (Press release). Sime Darby. 27 December 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Synergy renamed Sime Darby". The Star. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Grant, Jeremy (27 June 2012). "Felda IPO key to Malaysia’s ambitions". Financial Times. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Chin, Joseph (28 June 2012). "Felda Global world's 2nd largest IPO this year, opens at RM5.39". The Star. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Felda Global Ventures' RM10bil IPO 2nd biggest in world this year after Facebook". The Star Online. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  14. ^ Zaidi Isham Ismail. "RM342m gain for FGV from stake sale". Business Times. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Adnan, Hanim (23 February 2013). "B10 mandate to address biodiesel woes?". The Star Online. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Malaysia Biofuels Annual 2012 (Report). 3 August 2012. http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Biofuels%20Annual_Kuala%20Lumpur_Malaysia_8-3-2012.pdf. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  17. ^ Mohindru, Sameer (30 October 2012). "Malaysia Biodiesel Output to More Than Double in 2013 -Executive". Palm Oil HQ. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Malaysia - RSPO sees 2013 biodiesel output at up to 200,000 tonnes". agra-net.com. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
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