DPM Fadillah: National Biomass Action Plan to be ready in July 2023

Fadillah delivers his speech during Bursa Malaysia’s Palm Lauric Oil Conference and Exhibition 2023 (POC2023) held at Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on March 7, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, March 7: The National Biomass Action Plan that includes five sectors, namely plantation, agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry, is expected to be completed in July 2023, says Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof.

The Minister of Plantation and Commodities explained that he aspired to have a sustainable circular economy within the five sectors by the systematic use and processing of biomass into high-value added products which can generate additional income to the industry as a whole.

“One of the high-impact projects that will be embarked on by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) within the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) will be the production of lignocellulose from biomass that can be utilised in various sectors such as food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

“I hope my Ministry together with Bursa Malaysia and relevant agencies will continue the collaboration in this endeavor,” he said during Bursa Malaysia’s Palm Lauric Oil Conference and Exhibition 2023 (POC2023) held at Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur today.

He also said his ministry is currently charting an implementation plan for carbon as a commodity following Bursa Malaysia’s effort in establishing its Carbon Trading platform.

On palm oil, Fadillah noted that the industry has met its fair share of skeptics and debates which included the introduction of the European Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR) by European Union (EU) in November 2021, to limit deforestation and forest degradation allegedly caused by palm oil due to expansion of agricultural land.

“As a result, the implementation of EUDR is expected to significantly impact the use of palm oil in the EU, and create a negative image of Malaysian palm oil, which will lead to a reduction in exports to the EU and possibly globally.

“Needless to say, we are not taking the issue lightly, and the government and industry are working hand in hand to counter this negative campaign and unfair narrative, which we view as nothing less than an attempt at creating another trade barrier for palm oil.

“We are even joining forces with other palm oil-producing countries to ensure that our palm oil is not grossly misrepresented,” he added.

One of the Federal government’s efforts to address the negative campaign was the production of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MPSO) which meets stringent requirements of consumer markets and is risk free for its buyers.

As of Jan 31, 2023, the uptake of MSPO has been well received by the industry, as more than 97 per cent of oil palm planted areas and more than 98 per cent of palm oil mills in Malaysia have been MSPO certified.

For the record, Malaysia has produced 18.45 million metric tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO) for the year 2022, an increase of 1.9 per cent from 2021 at 18.12 million metric tonnes.

Meanwhile, the total revenue of palm oil and other palm-based products in 2022 stood at RM135 billion, higher by 24.4 per cent as compared to RM108.52 billion in 2021 due to higher export prices in 2022.

Fadillah also informed the audience that as announced by Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the 2023 Budget on Feb 24, the government will provide RM50 million in matching grants to promote automation in the plantation sector through the use of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). — DayakDaily