Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal Vol. 9 (1) March 2009 p. 1-13

Palm Oil: Nature’s Gift to Malaysia and Malaysia’s Gift to the World

Mohd Basri Wahid; Chan Kook Weng and Rubaah Masri
Received:    Accepted:    Available Online:


For Malaysia, oil palm is the golden crop that has helped to change the scenario of the Malaysia’s agriculture and the Malaysian economy. In 2007 at 4.17 million hectares, the oil palm performance is compared over the last 90 years from 1917 to 2007 and some projections are made over the next 100 years to 2107. The various phases undergone by the oil palm industry from the pioneering work with the determination to nurture the plant into a crop and to create a home for it in Malaysia, have been marked with several important milestones such as diversification from the over dependence on rubber in the 1950s and 1960s, strong support from well thought-out policies involving use of palm oil as food, fuel, fibre and feed in the 1970s and 1980s, through R&D move into processing and value-adding activities to improve the health and food safety aspects and finally in the 1990s and 2000s to tackle the environmental and sustainability development. The broadening of the scope and horizon for export of oil palm and its products into 11 areas of food, oleochemicals, energy, biomass, biotechnologically improved products, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, farm machinery, research and advisory services, processing, livestock integration and feed production will strengthen the competitiveness of the Malaysian oil palm products that will take centre-stage in international oils and fats businesses. In so doing, the impact of such massive development of the oil palm has helped uplift the rural poverty, enhance social and economic life, and yet protect the very environmental and ecological bases on which the oil palm thrives. Truly the oil palm is a crop that nature gives to Malaysia and now it has evolved into Malaysia’s gift, thanks to continuous R&D with many innovations, to share the new discoveries on the uses of palm oil and its products with the whole world. In the future, the Malaysian oil palm industry will remain a major reliable supplier of vegetable oil for both food and non-food applications. It must be mentioned that the projections made here after deliberation are the views what the MPOB team members have wished for the industry. For a forecast of a hundred years, the reality will be dictated by events and the rate of progress of R&D.

About Post Author