Use more palm oil to drive prices up, says deputy minister



Malaysians have been urged to use palm oil in its various forms in their daily lives as a patriotic move to help shore up the commodity’s flagging price.

Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said the ministry would continue to aggressively promote the use of palm oil among the people apart from expanding existing markets and exploring new ones.

"We are faced with a huge challenge of pushing up prices of several commodities including palm oil, as the commodity industry is one of the largest revenue earners for the country, and its current status will affect smallholders’ income.

"Hence, we sincerely need the people's support, irrespective of income levels, in stepping up the use of palm oil which will ensure the commodity’s continued growth and development in terms of demand, supply and price,” he said after an event in Malacca today.

Shamsul said Putrajaya, via his ministry, would continue to engage with stakeholders at all levels, including smallholders, to jointly implement effective measures to push up the price of the edible oil.

One such example is the use of domestic palm oil to fuel the Biodiesel B10 programme, which kicked off on Dec 1, aimed at increasing consumption and reducing excessive stocks.

He also said GLCs can also assist by focusing on promoting palm oil in the manufacturing of their products instead of using other oils – as it is said to contain antioxidant properties.

Studies carried out by the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council have revealed that palm oil is not only rich in Vitamin E, but also beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels, slowing the progression of heart diseases, boosting brain health, enhancing vitamin A status, reducing oxidative stress and improves skin and hair health.

The deputy minister also disclosed that the Malaysian Palm Oil Board is conducting an in-depth study to determine the percentage of palm oil consumption among the people, and the segments and sectors that have yet to utilise palm oil as a raw material for their end product.

"This study will also assist us to formulate more timely and strategic means that can be used to promote more wide-reaching and increased consumption of the oil in the future," he said.

- Bernama

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