Thursday, October 1

‘Malaysia to undertake R&D for new palm-based products’

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will continue to undertake research and development (R&D) to come out with new palm-based products, including nutraceutical and pharmaceutical, for the global community.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s (MPOB) offices in the US, Europe, Africa, Pakistan and China would assist the industry by continually working with authorities and industry players to increase the uptake of palm oil for food and non-food sectors.

In his opening speech at the 35th Palm Oil Familiarisation Programme yesterday, Uggah said palm oil offered a competitive advantage over other competing oils for applications in the food and non-food sectors.

The text of his speech was read by MPOB chairman Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad.

“We have carried out extensive research with international centres of excellence in our response to the anti-palm oil campaigns, particularly on the nutritional aspect.

“These studies have proven that palm oil is indeed a nutritionally superior oil,” he said.

Uggah said the success of the palm oil industry has also attracted detractors who alleged that the oil palm development contributed towards deforestation and displacement of wildlife.

He said the oil palm development in Malaysia was guided by rules and regulations and grown on land legally designated for agricultural use.

This was in keeping with the country’s commitment made at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to preserve at least half of its land area under forest cover, he said.

“In addition, the industry is encouraged to adopt sustainable practices, including certification of sustainable palm oil through the industry-led initiative under the framework of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

“Currently, 1.29 million hectares of oil palm plantations in Malaysia are RSPO-certified and these contribute to 4.8 million tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil,” he said. — Bernama