TAWAU: The oil palm industry has assumed a pivitol role in Sabah’s economic development, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said yesterday.
He said the industry also served as a catalyst for the development of other economic sectors such as transport, eco-tourism and livestock breeding.
The oil palm industry, if managed systematically, can reap lucrative returns to the growers and contribute significantly to the state’s economy,” said Musa when officiating the Datuk Musa Plantation Complex in Ladang Seraya Benta Wawasan approximately 120 km from here.
Sabah is the largest producer of crude palm oil in Malaysia, accounting for 25 per cent of the country’s total production.
In terms of export earnings, oil palm contributes 30 per cent of total income from exports.
Meanwhile, Musa said the plantation development programme initiated by Benta Wawasan, a state government-owned company, was progressing well.
Todate, 17,000 hectares of land have been planted with oil palm over the past three years.
He said the remaining 31,000 hectares would be developed in a more systematic manner.