Saturday, October 19

Oil palm replanting allocation to have big impact on industry, says Hamzah

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PUTRAJAYA: The RM432 million allocation in next year’s budget for the oil palm replanting programme will have a big impact on the industry, said Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Hamzah Zainudin.

The initiative will increase the annual oil palm yield to 26.2 tonnes per hectare in 2020 compared to the 21 tonnes currently.

Hamzah said the allocation announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his budget speech on Friday, would also be utilised to strategise the overall position of the oil palm industry as well as the commodity in the country.

“In the commodity sector, oil palm is a leader. So, the allocation will have a big impact on the industry, as it is divided between upstream and downstream activities,” he told the media after launching the Walk for Health Programme in conjunction with the Commodity Month 2012 here.

Meanwhile, Hamzah said the price of palm oil, is expected to stabilise following increased demand for the forthcoming Deepavali, Christmas and Chinese New Year festivals.

He also acknowledged that there had been a decline in the price of palm oil in the global market at present due to several factors.

“Those countries which regularly purchase palm oil, for example those from Europe, are facing problems with their economy.

In the United States as such,  soy oil production has risen, causing demand and offers for palm oil to fall slightly,” he added.

On the Commodity Month 2012 to be staged in October, Hamzah said it is an effort to promote the commodity industry which encompasses oil palm, rubber, timber, cocoa, pepper, kenaf and sago, which can make a big contribution to the country’s economic growth.

Among the activities being organised in conjunction with the event is a Smallholders and Commodity Entrepreneurs Conference, a dialogue with Malaysian pepper exporters and the Malaysian Timber Council Global Woodmart and International Rubber Technology and Economic Congress. — Bernama