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Four agencies give protest memorandum to EU over palm oil ban

Four federal agencies involved in agricultural activities - Felda, Felcra, Risda and National Association of Smallholders Malaysia (Nash) - today handed over a memorandum of protest to the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Malaysia over the European Parliament proposal to ban the use of palm oil for the production of biofuels in the EU by 2020.

Felcra Berhad chairman Nageeb Wahab said the EU had not given any clear answer on why the ban needs to be implemented.

“The European Parliament through a Delegated Act had proposed the ban on the use of palm oil-based biofuel...the decision will probably be announced next month, but they did not give any explanation, except labelling oil palm as a high-risk crop and a major contributor to deforestation worldwide.

“We are protesting this proposed ban as it will badly affect the income of palm oil factory operators, smallholders and all those involved in the industry. We have 650,000 smallholders and 3.2 million dependent family members,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Nageeb and Felda chairperson Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor had earlier handed over the memorandum to Head of EU Delegation to Malaysia, Maria Castillo.

“At present, the smallholders’ monthly income had declined from RM1,500 to only RM500, and if the ban is implemented, it will worsen the situation as the global price of palm oil will continue to drop," he said.

Nageeb said it was hoped that the government would interfere in addressing the matter as the four agencies would bring it to the attention of the World Trade Organisation if the ban was implemented.

- Bernama

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