KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has targeted to raise the production of palm oil to six tonnes per hectare by increasing productivity through up-to-date technology integration, its Director-General, Datuk Dr Ahmad Kushairi Din said.
He the MPOB was actively stepping up palm oil research and development activities through selective genome seed-breeding and tissue culture technology
“We aim to increase productivity not only through research and development processes, but also through fertiliser selection and pest control methods, labour, and technology integration such as the use of Global Positioning System to collect data, as well as monitor crops and palm oil products,” he told Bernama.
Ahmad Kushairi said this after opening the International Seminar on 100 Years of Technological Advancement in Oil Palm Breeding and Seed Production organised by the International Society for Oil Palm Breeders and MPOB yesterday.
Banking on the strategy, he said the MPOB targeted to increase the production of palm oil to six tonnes per hectare based on the fact that some areas had the potential to produce a total harvest of 18.2 tonnes per hectare.
“However, this (harvest target) is limited to some areas as it is closely related to soil and weather factors,” he said.
He said the value of palm oil and palm oil-based product exports is expected to increase to RM70 billion this year from RM67.6 billion last year.
“We recorded the highest export value of RM80 billion in 2011 and through technology integration, we hope that the record can be improved in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Kushairi said he expected palm oil demand to recover and increase due to lower production following the current wet weather and upcoming festivals.
The MPOB expects a bright prospect for palm oil next year following high global demand, especially from China in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration in the first quarter of 2018, he said, adding that, “Increasing demand indirectly helps increase the price of palm oil.”
Ahmad Kushairi said the total oil palm production target of 19.6 million tonnes for the January-December 2017 period could be achieved despite the industry’s volatility due to weather inclement and market sentiment.
Cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services in its research said exports of Malaysian palm oil products for the Nov 1-10, 2017 period decreased 2.5 per cent to 436,988 tonnes from 448,349 tonnes in the same period in October. — Bernama