Malaysia to explore other commodities

MPOB enters into agreements with 4 firms on fertiliser formulations, plantation mechanisation and palm-based polyols


MALAYSIA can export other commodities to countries that have imposed bans on the usage of palm oil, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (back, right) said.

It was reported that Belgium has decided to forbid biofuels made from palm oil into its market starting next year.

Mohd Khairuddin said the Belgian Ambassador in Malaysia has requested to meet with him officially to discuss matters related to the issue in early May.

“The important thing is, we can discuss about exploring other commodities such as cocoa and chocolate, which we can work on a cooperation with Belgium and other countries,” he told reporters after the soft launch of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) 2021 Transfer of Technology Seminar and Exhibition (TOT) in Bangi yesterday.

When asked about Sri Lanka’s ban on palm oil imports from Malaysia, he responded that Malaysia is open for discussion with any parties if requested.

“We are open to talk. So far, Sri Lanka has not sent a letter to discuss and we have not made any effort to do so because the current high demand for palm oil is not enough with the supply that we have,” he said.

The minister is confident that Malaysia’s palm oil market remains competitive as it simultaneously explores new markets, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, adding that it is being strengthened at the regional level in Asean.

On another note, MPOB has entered into agreements with four local companies for the commercialisation of technologies it has developed which include fertiliser formulations, plantation mechanisation and palm-based polyols.

The companies are FGV Fertiliser Sdn Bhd, Palmyra Polyurethane Systems Sdn Bhd, Fulle Technik Sdn Bhd and Riztech Resources Sdn Bhd.

Mohd Khairuddin said the collaboration with these local companies for the commercialisation of palm oil-related technologies involving MPOB’s expertise and research facilities will create a win-win situation and contribute immensely to the development of the country’s palm oil industry.

“The ministry focuses specifically on the development of plantation machineries especially for oil palm fruit harvesting and transportation in the plantations as they are proven to increase labour productivity and efficiency of plantation operations, as well as reducing high dependence on foreign labour,” he said.

According to him, the use of mechanisation in the plantation sector will also encourage the involvement of youths to pursue careers in the oil palm industry which is associated with a less attractive work environment than other sectors.

MPOB’s technologies available for commercialisation include the production of plant materials, palm fertiliser formulation, disease and pest control techniques, farm machinery, manufacturing technologies and formulation of palm-based food and non-food products.

“The technologies developed by MPOB researchers provide business opportunities to local industries and entrepreneurs including small and medium enterprises to produce products commercially in income-generating markets,” added the minister.

TOT 2021 is a platform to introduce technologies and innovations in the palm oil industry developed by MPOB researchers and will be held on July 1.

MPOB DG Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir (left) said TOT is one of MPOB’s strategies to increase the commercialisation of technologies for the oil palm industry.

To date, the commercialisation rate for patented technologies has reached 32.4%, while the commercialisation rate is 30.4%.

He said MPOB’s interactions with the industry held on a regular basis have provided important feedback to determine the priority of research projects in accordance with the needs of the industry.

“Technology commercialisation is one of the important components of research and development, an important indicator for MPOB’s Key Performance Index,” said Ahmad Parveez.