Palm Oil Sector Needs More Money for R&D

Malaysia’s palm oil industry, which accounts for 70per cent of the country’s agriculture sector, wants more money for
research, better infrastructure and incentives for biofuel ventures
under Budget 2010.


Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad said the
industry needs more funds for research on initiatives like oil palm
genome mapping.


“There must also be incentives for tissue culture production to expand
and increase oil palm production for smallholders,” Sabri said in reply
to e-mailed questions from Business Times recently.

He said there must also be incentives for promoting phytonutrients and its derivatives such as oleochemical manufacturing.

For the biofuel sector, Sabri said there should be more incentives to
re-engineer factories to be viable such as to produce palm methyl ester
and micro nutrients such as tocoterionol, carotenoids and phenolics.

“There should also be more tax breaks for research and development in second generation biofuel from biomass.

“On the environment, the government should provide incentives for
zero-emission technology such as trapping and using of methane gas and
biofertiliser production.

Sabah and Sarawak also need better infrastructure like roads and more storage facilities.

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd senior regional analyst Ivy Ng said the three
potential wish lists of planters would be more clarity on the mandatory
biodiesel programme for the country, which is supposed to start next
year in terms of mechanism and subsidy.

“There should also be a
better infrastructure for the Sabah and Sarawak region which will help
improve logistics aspects of palm oil as well as the removal of the
windfall tax.

National Association of Smallholders president
Datuk Aliasak Ambia said the oil palm replanting scheme should be on a
permanent basis and not announced from time to time.

“The
replanting scheme should be continuous and not a one-off announcement.
The government should make the replanting scheme available at all time
just like in the rubber industry.”

Source : Business Times

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