Besides being a main exporter of palm oil in the global market, Malaysia can also become the main source of oil palm seeds, Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (Porim) director-general Dr Yusof Basiron said.
High quality oil palm seeds are needed by the oil palm industry.
“In the future, Malaysia may export these seeds because the market for them is big,” he said at a seminar on oil palm cultivation in Bangi, Selangor yesterday.
Porim has the largest collection of high quality oil palm seeds in the world and is one of the main provider of high quality seedlings.
“We possess good mother palms, which can be leased out for further cultivation of oil palm seeds,” Yusof said.
He said there are now 12 agencies involved in producing these seeds in the country including Golden Hope Plantations, Guthrie dan United Plantations.
However, he added, that these agencies may not be able to meet all the demands.
There are plenty of opportunities for bumiputera entrepreneurs in the business of providing oil palm seeds for cultivation, he added.
He urged Bumiputera entrepreneurs, including members of the National Cooperative Organisation of Malaysia (Angkasa), to partake in oil palm seeds cultivation.
In his speech, Yusof said that the opening of the Advanced Technology Centre in May next year will see Porim shifting its focus towards research and development and the production of oleochemical-based products.
Economically, he said, oleochemical-based products fetch a much higher value in the marketplace. “For instance, a 600gm body lotion, which is an oleochemical-based product, costs RM8 compared with cooking oil, a palm olein product, which is priced at RM3.50 a kg.”
Another area which has tremendous potential is the use of bio-mass of oil palm.