BERA, Pahang, Sept 29 (Bernama) -- Primary Industries Minister Datuk SeriDr Lim Keng Yaik has urged oil palm smallholders to use modern technologyand expertise to reduce production costs.
By reducing production costs their earnings would be higher through thesale of high quality palm oil, he said after inspecting a Chinese schoolbuilding project in Triang here Sunday.
He said there were up to 3,500 oil palm smallholders in the country whowere still using low yielding seedlings and engaged in off seasonharvesting.
This had resulted in low quality palm oil and their commodity fetching lowprices, Dr Lim said.
Some smallholders were incurring more than RM1,000 per hectare inproduction costs and this had caused their income to fall, he said.
Private plantations using modern technology and high-yielding seedlingsincurred less than RM600 per hectare in production costs, Dr Lim said.
He said even though palm oil was selling at RM450 per tonne smallholderswould not benefit and lose out to competitors if they did not heed advicefrom the relevant authorities.
He urged smallholders to take full advantage of the assistance andexpertise provided by the government to come up with quality produce.
Dr Lim said Malaysia was now the top producer of palm oil in the worldwith an annual output of 12 million tonnes with 40 per cent coming fromsmallhllders.
He said Malaysia was not concerned about other countries such as Indonesiaincreasing their palm oil output but would worry if the 15 other vegetableoils such as soyabean oil and sunflower oil became competitors to palmoil.