Oil palm history in Malaysia


Oil palm industry is well developed in Malaysia. African oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) was first introduced in Malaysia during 1900, and since then Malaysia have become the largest oil palm producer in the world. There is a total of 3.87 million hectares of land all over Malaysia used to plant oil palm trees. The annual production of Fresh Fruit bunches is around 19 tons per hectares. What is more, Malaysia has become the major palm oil exporter that even exceeds Indonesia who has larger plantation area.

More on oil palm history in Malaysia, Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is the world's biggest oil palm planter, with planted area close to 900,000 hectares in Malaysia and Indonesia. Felda was formed on July 1, 1956 when the Land Development Act came into force with the main aim of circumventing poverty. Settlers were each allocated 10 acres of land (about 4 hectares) planted either with oil palm or rubber, and given 20 years to pay off the debt for the land.

After Malaysia achieved independence in 1957, the government focused on value-added of rubber planting, boosting exports, and alleviating poverty through land schemes. In the 1960s and 1970s, the government encouraged planting of other crops, to cushion the economy when world prices of tin and rubber plunged. Rubber estates gave way to oil palm plantations. In 1961, Felda's first oil palm settlement opened, with 3.75 km² of land. As of 2000, 6855.2 km² (approximately 76%) of the land under Felda's programmes were devoted to oil palms. By 2008, Felda's resettlement broadened to 112,635 families, who work on 8533.13 km² of agriculture land throughout Malaysia. Oil palm planting took up 84% of Felda's plantation landbank.

Furthermore on oil palm history in Malaysia, in terms of hectare, the total area under oil palm cultivation is over 2.65 million hectares, producing over 8 million tons of oil annually. The oil consists of only 10% of the total biomes produced in the plantation. The remainder consists of huge amount of lignocelluloses materials such as oil palm fronds, trunks and empty fruit bunches. The projection figures of these residues are as follows:

- 7.0 million tons of oil palm trunks

- 26.2 million tons of oil palm fronds

- 23% of Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) per ton of Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) processed in oil palm mill

These wastes can amount to a staggering 3.3 million tons per year. The waste can be very useful. After oil extraction, empty bunches can be reused to manufacture environmentally friendly products such as mattress, furniture and fiber wood which have almost the same uses as normal wood, such as in making furniture, infrastructures, landscaping and so forth.  As one of oil palm companies in Malaysia, we supply oil palm fiber and pellets.