Smallholders Accuse EU Of Discrimination On Palm Oil Ban

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  • 25 Jan 2018 12:00 AM
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Malaysian Smallholders Accuse EU Of Discrimination On Palm Oil Ban

Smallholder oil palm farmers in Malaysia have accused the European Union (EU) of creating a “crop apartheid” in the outcome of a recently proposed ban on palm oil from biofuels. It is contended that the proposed European Union ban on palm oil will threaten the livelihood of thousands of smallholder farmers in Malaysia. The EU is Malaysia’s biggest export destination for palm oil and biodiesel and could be a blow to the country’s exports.

There was a protest organised in Kuala Lumpur, where smallholders claimed that the planned ban on palm oil will threaten 650,000 farmers and over 3.2 million Malaysians who depend on the palm oil industry for their livelihoods.

The ire from Malaysian farmers was in response to a January 17 decision by European lawmakers to approve draft measures to reform its power sector in a bid to meet ambitious climate goals. Part of this move was cutting the use of palm oil in motor fuels by 2021. The president of the National Association of Small Holders (NASH) Dato’ Haji Aliasak Bin Haji Ambia has said the EU’s move violates every United Nations treaty Europe has signed up for, which includes bilateral trade agreements with Malaysia.

According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, the EU is Malaysia’s biggest export destination, accounting for 13 per cent of shipments of palm oil and palm-based products last year. About 90 per cent of Malaysia’s biodiesel exports also go to Europe.

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