It is my greatest hope and aspiration that we Liberians start to appreciate the crop seed: “OIL PALM” which PALM OIL is produced from, and together start learning techniques in planting, handling and caring for the crop.
Palm oil is now the most sought after edible oil in the world. The growing demand of palm oil around the world is more than just for cooking oil. It is the cheapest and most versatile oil currently available in the world. It is often being called “One Tree with Many Uses”. You can go to any big supermarkets and discover that at least half of the products in it now contain palm oil as one of its ingredients. The products with palm oil inputs range from , confectioneries, creamers, noodles, chocolate substitutes, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, vitamin E , just to name a few. Palm oil is now being used for bio-diesels in cars. Imagine how much of the world palm oil market that can be tapped by Liberia. On a recent trip to Malaysia, I have witnessed the very essence of the crop and how it has done so much for the people of Malaysia, that today they do appreciate it. The palm oil industry has not only eradicated poverty but also has become of one the main contributing income for the nation. I was fascinated to discover how much the Malaysian people took pride in learning the techniques in plantation works, and their willingness to share their experiences and lessons learned. Malaysians, by all means lifted themselves through agriculture, and by that, the name Sime Darby is not strange to the ordinary man there or elsewhere. Well, it attracts me to note that oil palm or its scientific name; (Elaeis Guineensis) were once ours (Africans). Research has shown that the crop came from along the Gulf of Guinea regions, yet we haven’t shown the level of ownership and possession over it. Oil palm was brought to Asia where through continuous research and development the crop was grown commercially. Frankly, the basic foundations for the success in commercializing oil palm is the fact that there has been an intensive commitment in the establishment of research centers , simply to look after the seedlings and come up with newer methods for improving the yields. Today, oil palm is the highest yielding crop in the world. It is 11 times more productive than soybean, 10 times more than sunflower and 7 times more than rapeseed. Malaysia is playing a leading role in oil palm cultivation, reaping high yields in Crude Palm Oil (CPO) productions, close to 19 million metric tonnes annually.