MPOC Chief : Give Palm Oil Due Recognition

BERLIN: Palm oil should be duly recognised instead of having its exports curtailed, according to Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron. He said the fact that Malaysia had kept its permanent forest for biodiversity and not opened new areas for oil palm cultivation had caused the country to forgo the revenue it could generate from the commodity. In stating his views during the Forum on Sustainability of Palm Oil here Thursday, Yusof said Malaysia had pledged under the Rio Summit to commit over 50% of its land under forest, the balance to agriculture and industrial purposes. If 22% of the agriculture portion are tree crops, then 77% of Malaysia is under tree cover, therefore the country is a net carbon sink, he said. We are also able to brief the world that we have enough forest to provide biodiversity. By maintaining this, we had 33% less revenue that we had to forego. So this is a great sacrifice that should be recognised, he added. Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad contended that much of the land for oil palm cultivation came not from the clearing of permanent forest but as a result of the conversion from rubber plantations. For the future, he said the sustainable industry was looking at increasing its tonnage following the scarcity of land. Source : The Star

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