KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) — Palm oil industry players should consider reinvesting in downstream activities that can add value to the local palm oil sector, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Tuesday.
He said the government has undertaken a number of efforts to ensure that crude palm oil remains available for domestic industries to develop downstream activities and create value-added palm products.
“However, it is of real concern to note that the expansion of our downstream activities, in terms of breadth and scope, has not occurred at a level envisaged by the government,” he said in his keynote address at the MPOB (Malaysian Palm Oil Board) International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2013 here.
Themed “Green Opportunities from the Golden Crop”, the three-day congress starting today features industry experts presenting papers and sharing their views at five concurrent conferences, including on agriculture, biotechnology and sustainability.
Muhyiddin said the demand for oils and fats will grow in tandem with the increase in population from the current 7.1 billion to a projected 9.7 billion by 2050.
“Owing to the shortage of agricultural land, it is expected that palm oil will continue to be the dominant source for vegetable oils because its yield per hectare is 10 times that of its nearest competitor, soy bean oil,” he said.
Muhyiddin said palm oil producing countries should work together and continue to find ways to promote and commercialise palm oil, taking into account the demand for current and future expansion of palm oil as well as competition from other vegetable oils.
“I am certain that as a group, we will be able to harness our advantages and optimise our potential to reap the benefits availed by the global market,” he added.
Meanwhile, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas urged the participants to look beyond and find solutions for mutual benefit and interest in the oils and fats industry during the congress.
“PIPOC 2013 has brought together eminent experts in oils and fats who have travelled far and near to share their knowledge and experience.
“I am optimistic these great minds would provide the window to deliberate on, among others, issues, challenges and innovations as well as the latest developments in the palm oil industry,” he said.
Source : BERNAMA