Selangor Journal
A man unloads the fresh fruit bunches from his car boot at a palm oil fruit collection centre for smallholders in Banting, on, June 10, 2022. — Picture by REUTERS

Synergy between palm oil industry players, smallholders can generate more income — Johari

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The synergy between industry players and smallholders can help the latter generate higher income and produce more fresh fruit bunches (FFB), said Plantation and Commodity Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

“If a smallholder has four, three or two hectares. We combine all these to make one size say 10 to 15 hectares, and then we can mobilise,” he said.

He said, as many as 1.5 million hectares of palm oil plantations are managed by smallholders, and only eight to 12 tonnes of FFB can be produced from one hectare. Meanwhile, large farms are able to produce almost 20 to 28 tonnes of FFB in the same area.

“So we want to educate these smallholders, especially the new generation so that they can also produce 18 tonnes for one hectare and not 10 tonnes anymore,” he told Bernama.

Johari said the industry also needs to explore beyond the production of crude palm oil (CPO) and focus on the downstream phase of CPO processing that can generate much higher income.

“This is what we want to take care of, we don’t just want to export crude, we want to go downstream, the value-added increases three to four times but if we take it to the midstream downstream it can multiply up to four times.

“It’s not going to be easy because we don’t do it as the private sector does it. So we have to put together a strategy to attract investors to invest in every commodity chain,” he added.

The export value of Malaysia’s commodity sector reaches more than RM160 billion a year and it contributes as much as 5.2 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates more than one million job opportunities.

— Bernama

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