100-year celebration of palm oil industry recognition for smallholders’ contribution

Posted on : 17-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first commercial oil palm planting in the country at Tennamaram Estate, Bestari Jaya, Selangor, today.

Exactly 100 years ago, Henri Fauconnier established the commercial planting of oil palm in the country at Tennamaram Estate in 1917.

At a press conference here yesterday, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will launch the Remarkable 100-year Celebration of the Nation’s Palm Oil Industry at Tennamaram Estate today.

He said some 5,000 smallholders and industry players will attend the event, besides ambassadors, high commissioners and representatives from 30 countries who are buyers of Malaysian palm oil and related products.

At the ceremony, Smallholders Special Award, Commercial Estate Special Award and Tokoh Palm Industry Development Award would be presented, he said.

“We have come a long way. Palm oil is one of the biggest contributors to our economy. We want to send a message to the world that palm oil industry is ahead of other oil in terms sustainability, technology and quality.

“This is actually to recognise the contribution of the 600,000 smallholders and industry players who have contributed to the country’s economy,” he said.

Earlier, Mah received the courtesy visit of Fauconnier’s great grandson, Jeremie Fontaine, at his office here, yesterday. Also present was the ministry’s Secretary-General, Datuk Nagarajan N Marie.

In the next 100 years, Mah said the nation’s palm industry would continue to expand and the ministry’s focus included to increase palm oil exports and related downstream products such as pharmaceutical, oleo derivatives, food and health products.

“This is our way forward. I think that oil palm has a good future in Malaysia. It cannot be denied that we will encounter challenges, however, the palm industry will continue to contribute to the country’s economy. It will continue to grow the way it did in the last 100 years,” he said.

Mah said exports of palm oil and palm-related products for the first quarter of this year totalled RM19.4billion, up 36 per cent from RM14.3 billion in the same period last year.

“The ministry is confident the export value of palm and palm-related products will exceed RM70 billion this year compared to RM 67 billion last year,” he said.

Export of palm oil and palm-related products to China was expected to increase following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd and Sinograin Oils Corporation during Najib’s visit to the republic last Monday.

He said the MoU would provide opportunities to supply and market palm oil products in order to penetrate the midstream and downstream market in China.

“Export of palm oil and palm-related products to China in the first quarter of this year had increased 69 per cent, to RM2.2 billion from RM1.3 billion in the same period in 2016,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mah said he and his counterpart from Indonesia would go to the European Parliament next month to explain on the European Union (EU) Resolution which was unfair to the Malaysian and Indonesian palm industry.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

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