The Oil Palm

Blogging Live from the 7th Global Oils & Fats Forum, USA: Dr Basiron: Good Agriculture Practices

During the American Palm Oil Council’s 7th Global Oils and Fats Forum, Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron highlighted the efforts undertaken by the palm oil industry to ensure good agriculture practices and the industry’s sustainability.

For instance, the industry has successfully reduced the use of pesticides through the implementation of integrated pest management – for instance using barn owls to control rat populations. And the increased use of leguminous ground cover has reduced the need to fertilizers, while maintaining soil moisture on a variety of different land types. The result is 10 Malaysian companies to date have been certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, with only limited changes in practices.

These practices demonstrate the industry’s commitment to the highest standards of sustainable production, a commitment that has been ignored as international institutions such as the World Bank and the European Union seek to impose limitations and trade barriers to palm oil.

With only 1.5% of global agriculture land under oil palms (while accounting for more than 32% of globally traded oils/fats) countries and organizations targeting palm oil on environmental grounds are relying increasingly on less efficient and more environmentally damaging oilseeds. Only fair, unobstructed access of palm oil to these markets will ensure long-term environmental sustainability of the vegetable oil sector.