MUKAH: The government expects the palm oil industry to generate RM178 billion in revenue by 2020, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas.
He said this could be achieved through higher productivity and greater downstream activities in the industry.
The industry had played a crucial role over the last 50 years in the country’s vibrant economic growth, he told about 300 smallholders at a seminar organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), here.
Oil palm trees are planted on 5.23 million hectares, or more than 70 per cent, of the country’s agricultural land.
Uggah said the government, through the MPOB, had implemented various initiatives to produce higher yield and more palm oil-related downstream activities.
“Under the Economic Transformation Programme, eight projects are being implemented involving the planting and replanting of oil palm trees, and value-added downstream processing of palm oil-based products.”
Uggah said concerted efforts are being made to increase fresh fruit bunches to 26 tonnes per hectare by 2020.
He said the government recognised the roles played by smallholders, whether they are individual farmers or part of a group under the sponsorship of government agencies.
He said smallholders are responsible for 40 per cent of the total oil palm trees planted in the country.
“In Sarawak, there are 18,513 smallholders who have planted oil palm trees on 94,437ha,” he added. Bernama
Source : New Straits Times