KLUANG: The Malaysian Palm Oil Board is in the midst of producing a new variety of oil palm tree that will grow only up to 20 feet (6 meters), which will facilitate crop harvesting, according to deputy minister for plantation industries and commodities, Wee Jeck Seng.
Wee said the quality of fruit and oil produced by the new variety will be the same of those from the existing breed, which could grow up to 40-50 feet (12-15 metres).
“Based on the record, most of the smallholders are senior citizens. It is hoped that the new variety with shorter oil palm trees will make it easier for them to harvest on their own.
“MPOB is also conducting a study to produce more palm oil for the new variety,” he told reporters here.
Wee said 87% of oil palm plantation owners have the MSPO certificate for sustainable palm oil, while only about 39% of private smallholders have the certificate.
He said the certificate is very important to ensure that products produced by oil palm plantations, smallholders and palm oil processing plants are sustainable and acceptable in the global market.
An awareness campaign will be held to encourage more oil palm smallholders to have MSPO certificate.