Malaysia plans to halt all expansion of oil palm plantations

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  • 01 Mar 2019 12:00 AM
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Malaysia Plans to Halt All Expansion of Palm Oil Plantations

Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm oil producer will cap the palm oil plantation area at around 6 million hectares (14.8 million acres), Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok said in an interview last week. That’s up from 5.85 million hectares at the end of last year, which will give some leeway to growers who are in the middle of replanting or who have already bought land, she said. The move comes as producers intensify their fight against simmering anti-palm oil sentiment and allegations that the crop destroys tropical rainforests that are home to endangered animals such as the orangutans. While the negative sentiment against palm oil has existed for decades, it worsened when growers expanded plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia. The proposal, which will be put to the cabinet for discussion by March, will require commitment and cooperation from state governments as certain land issues are under their jurisdiction, Kok said at her office in Putrajaya. Malaysia will focus on boosting productivity and yields of existing palm trees, she said.

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