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Jakarta Post

Resolving paradox of over-competitive palm oil

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 28, 2019   /  02:23 pm
Resolving paradox of over-competitive palm oil Harvest time: A worker gathers oil palm fruit bunches at a plantation in Lampung. Indonesia and Malaysia, the first- and second-largest palm oil producers, have threatened to challenge the European Union via the World Trade Organization if the EU continues to phase out palm oil from transportation fuel. (The Jakarta Post/R. Berto Wedhatama)

Oil palm is the most productive vegetable oil crop, known for producing four to nine times the yield of other oilseed crops and being the cheapest at an average margin of 20 percent compared to the price of other oilseed crops — or US$200 per ton compared to $360 per ton for soybeans, the crop with the second lowest price per ton. By all accounts, no other oilseed crop comes close to oil palm in terms of either crop yield or production costs. In fact, oil palm cultivation requires the least amount of agricultural inputs among oilseed and vegetable oil crops. Oil palms need 2 kilograms of pesticides and 47 kg of fertilizers to produce 1 ton of oil, while soybeans need 29 kg of pesticides and 315 kg of fertilizers and rapeseed needs 11 kg of pesticides and 90 kg of fertilizers to produce 1 ton of oil. Soybeans, sunflowers and rapeseeds demand five to eight times more ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.