MPOB producing high water-use efficiency trees to protect future palm oil yield
25.05.2023 (The Edge Malaysia) - KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is conducting research and development (R&D) to produce a variety of oil palm trees that are tolerant to low rainfall, said its director general Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir.
He said MPOB is currently testing some of these trees in the northern part of Malaysia, in hope that the nation’s palm oil yield will not be affected by El Nino weather patterns in the future.
However, Ahmad Parveez indicated that it is a long-term R&D with ongoing studies, which might take another 10- to 15 years, though the lab has seen some clones of this variety of plants producing good yield with less water.
Ahmad Parveez said this at an MPOB media appreciation event at Pullman Bangsar on Thursday (May 25), after he told reporters that the El Nino will most likely affect 2% to 3% of Malaysia’s palm oil production next year, specifically production in Sabah and Sarawak.
He said the hot weather will not immediately affect palm oil production, as the effects of the weather will only be seen in about 15- to 18 months.
He also advised all parties involved to prepare for the worst case scenario of the El Nino effect on palm oil production, which can go up to 20% if referencing what happened in 2016, translating to about a drop of three million tonnes in production.
Ahmad Parveez has forecasted that Malaysia could produce around 19 million tonnes of palm oil in 2023, compared to 18.45 million tonnes in 2022, after seeing improved labour supply in the country’s oil palm plantations.
He said MPOB expects Malaysia’s benchmark crude palm oil price to rise to RM3,800 to RM4,000 from the El Nino effect, with price to average at RM4,200 a tonne in 2023.