|News Provider||Nur Aisha Abd.Wahab|
|News Source||The Star Online|
|Headlines||MPOB focusing on four key research areas|
The Star Online (08/04/2021) - PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is focusing on four priority research areas – yield performance, sustainable development, mechanisation and automation, as well as food safety and nutrition – in an effort to improve the oil palm industry’s efficiency and productivity.
Director-general Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir said although the productivity of palm oil has increased over the years, the national average yield has remained stagnant in comparison with other vegetable oil crops.
“It is high time for us to implement advanced biotechnological, breeding and cloning tools that will enable the development of superior planting materials, which will improve disease resistance, higher oil quality traits, resilient to climate change and most importantly, increase yield.
“We need to adopt the best agronomic practices to further improve efficiency and productivity, ” he said in a statement.
Ahmad Parveez said the Programme Advisory Committee (PAC), which comprises eminent scientists and experts in the oil palm industry from within and outside Malaysia, will also look in detail at strategic research projects and issues such as sustainable development and find practical solutions to reconcile differences between the industry and critics.
“Various issues and concerns have been raised concerning land use change, biodiversity and conservation efforts, deforestation, as well as pollution of water, air and land, ” he said.
He pointed out the livelihood of smallholders is impacted by the increasingly new or stringent regulations and certifications on sustainability and good agricultural practices, thus making them less able to meet the demand of the industry and economically less competitive.
“We should assess a well-balanced approach to fulfill the sustainability requirement for the oil palm industry, ” Ahmad Parveez said.
He added that the PAC members will find ways to effectively design and develop revolutionary technologies and innovations for upstream operations, including finding better and innovative ways to harvest and process oil palm fruits.