Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 18 (2) September 2018 p. 37-45

Labour Requirement in The Oil Palm Independent Smallholder Sector in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia

Azman Ismail*; Siti Mashani Ahmad*; Ali Zulhusni Ali Nordin*; Nur Nadia Kamil*; Ainul Shazwin Shahidan*; Khairuman Hashim*; Mohamad Arfan Johari*; Shakir Alid* and N Balu*
Received:    Accepted:    Available Online:


Labour requirement in the smallholder sector, especially independent smallholders, is different from those in the estate sector because of the different total area and management level. The study aims to estimate the labour requirement for harvesting and fresh fruit bunch (FFB) collection activity in the oil palm independent smallholder sector in Sabah and Sarawak in 2016. The study focuses on the harvesting and FFB collection activity due to the fact that the activity is very important and it determines the income earned by independent smallholders. For data collection, face-to-face interviews were conducted using close-ended questionnaires involving 397 and 392 independent smallholders in Sabah and Sarawak, respectively, and were randomly selected. The study found that the average age of the respondents in Sabah and Sarawak were 52 and 54, respectively, and at this age level, they needed to hire workers to do heavy work such as FFB harvesting and collection. Total labour requirements in the oil palm independent smallholder sector in Sabah and Sarawak were estimated at 7837 and 4807 workers, respectively. Altogether, total labour requirement for harvesting and FFB collection in both states was 12 644 workers.

Keyword(s): Labour, Oil Palm, Independent Smallholders, Sabah, Sarawak

About Post Author


* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
6 Persiaran Institusi,
Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.

E-mail: azman@mpob.gov.my