Malaysia: ‘No oil palm on swampy land’

SARBAN SINGH The Star 8 Dec 16;

SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan, a major palm oil producing state, will no longer allow the palm to be grown in swampy areas and abandoned padi fields to prevent the state from “drying up”.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said his administration had to resort to this as many streams and sections of rivers had dried up since the crop was grown on a big scale statewide in recent years.

“Not many of us know that a fully grown oil palm needs more than 200 litres of water a day to survive and give a good harvest.

“Since many of our streams and sections of rivers have dried up due to a combination of factors including oil palm cultivation, we do not want to allow the crop to be grown in swampy areas and abandoned paddy fields,” Moha­mad told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting.

He said the state exco had rejected applications from two companies to do so at the meeting.

Mohamad has also directed the state and district land administrators to ensure the ruling was complied with.

“I have nothing against oil palm cultivation but we need to strike a balance so that we are not completely dried up in 20 years’ time,” he said.

He added that other crops could be grown if there was a need to rehabilitate abandoned padi fields.

Citing an example, he said a company had successfully grown pineapples in the abandoned padi fields in Rembau.

“These pineapples which are now produced on a commercial scale are very juicy and sweet, and much sought after.

“Pineapples are also a good substitute as they don’t require much water,” he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment