The Malaysian Oil Palm Council has asked the Philippine government to accept more investors in oil palm cultivation.
“The council is keen on encouraging more investments or joint ventures to increase the Philippines’ palm oil production,” MOPC chief executive Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Yusof Basiron said in an interview late Tuesday.
He said the council was willing to work closely with the government to facilitate investments in the cultivation of oil palm trees and meet the growing local demand for palm oil.
Basiron said the Philippines have the potential to improve palm oil production and boost its consumption in the local market.
He said the country’s per capita consumption of palm oil is only 10 kilograms, which is lower than the world’s average of 25 kilos.
Basiron said Malaysia was also keen on facilitating investments in palm oil plantations in other Southeast Asian countries.
Malaysian firms have recently entered into joint venture arrangements or partnership agreements in Indonesia for the cultivation of oil palm trees.
Five million hectares of farmlands are devoted to the cultivation of oil palm trees in Malaysia.
An expert said while there was a growing demand for palm oil in the Philippines, less than 1 percent of farmlands in the country were devoted to oil palm trees.
The Philippines imported 512,000 metric tons of palm oil from Malaysia in 2011, up by 150 percent from 204,731 MT in 2010.
“The year 2011 was a ‘special year’ because of the shortage of local supply [of oils] caused maybe by drought. Production did not increase as expected [so] imports supplemented local demand,” said Basiron.
Basiron projected that Malaysian palm oil producers would be able to increase their shipments by 10 to 11 percent on the back of higher demand this year.
Source: Manila Standard Today