'Growing global population a boon for palm oil'
Published on: Tuesday, November 05, 2019
By: Bernama
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BANGKOK: The current world’s population of 7.74 billion, which is set to hit almost 10 billion by 2050, is a boon for the vegetable oil market, especially for the highly productive palm oil as it can yield more oil from less land than its competitor.

United Plantations Bhd chief executive director Datuk Carl Bek-Nielsen said there would be an additional 2.2 billion people on the planet in the next 30 years and 2.5 billion people would be moving to the middle-income group from the low-income group.

"When this happens, the consumption of calories will immediately increase by about 30 per cent, followed by an increase in food production by 70 per cent, while vegetable oil production will have to increase by 65 per cent,” he told reporters at the Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT 17), here, Tuesday.

Bek-Nielsen, who is also co-chair of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), said the growth in population and demand for food production is a boon for the vegetable oil market.

However, palm oil has the advantage over other vegetable oils, as besides being a highly productive crop, each oil palm tree can produce fruit for up to 30 years, he said.

Other widely used vegetable oils are sunflower, rapeseed and soybean.

While the benefits of the industry are encouraging, Bek-Nielsen hopes that the demand would be met through sustainable palm oil with more growers adapting the RSPO certification.

"We hope that via the new cost-effective tool for smallholders, to be implemented early next year, will allow more smallholders to be RSPO-certified,” he said.

Themed “A Shared Responsibility: Converting Commitments into Actions”, the two-day RT17, which began Tuesday, gathered RSPO members from across the world.

It is a platform for representatives from the global palm oil industry to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the sustainable palm oil sector.


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