Labour shortage hits Malaysia’s palm oil industry


The shortage of mainly foreign workers in Malaysia’s palm oil industry owing to coronavirus-induced border closures and other lockdowns could lead to a 25-per cent drop in potential palm oil revenue for the industry, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) said on July 20 at a media conference, adding the situation could worsen in the coming months.

The association, which represents plantation firms, said the government’s decision to freeze the recruitment of new foreign workers until December could even lead to the “demise” of the palm oil industry.

Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer behind Indonesia, relies on workers from foreign countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh who account for 84 per cent of its plantation workforce. But thousands of them have left palm estates for home as borders closed, and the group said it had not been able to replace them.

Locals don’t want to do “dirty” plantation work

The lack of labourers could delay palm fruit harvesting and curb oil output, especially ahead of the peak production season that starts around September, the MPOA’s CEO Nageeb Wahab said, adding that plantation companies were trying to hire more locals, but many were not interested in what they perceive as “dirty, dangerous, difficult and demeaning work.”

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s deputy plantation industries and commodities Minister Willie Mongin said the ministry was in talks with industry groups to address the labour concerns and will also file a World Trade Organisation case against the European Union over its restrictions on palm oil biofuel by this year.



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The shortage of mainly foreign workers in Malaysia’s palm oil industry owing to coronavirus-induced border closures and other lockdowns could lead to a 25-per cent drop in potential palm oil revenue for the industry, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) said on July 20 at a media conference, adding the situation could worsen in the coming months. The association, which represents plantation firms, said the government’s decision to freeze the recruitment of new foreign workers until December could even lead to the "demise" of the palm oil industry. Malaysia, the world's second-biggest palm oil producer behind Indonesia, relies on workers...


The shortage of mainly foreign workers in Malaysia’s palm oil industry owing to coronavirus-induced border closures and other lockdowns could lead to a 25-per cent drop in potential palm oil revenue for the industry, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) said on July 20 at a media conference, adding the situation could worsen in the coming months.

The association, which represents plantation firms, said the government’s decision to freeze the recruitment of new foreign workers until December could even lead to the “demise” of the palm oil industry.

Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer behind Indonesia, relies on workers from foreign countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh who account for 84 per cent of its plantation workforce. But thousands of them have left palm estates for home as borders closed, and the group said it had not been able to replace them.

Locals don’t want to do “dirty” plantation work

The lack of labourers could delay palm fruit harvesting and curb oil output, especially ahead of the peak production season that starts around September, the MPOA’s CEO Nageeb Wahab said, adding that plantation companies were trying to hire more locals, but many were not interested in what they perceive as “dirty, dangerous, difficult and demeaning work.”

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s deputy plantation industries and commodities Minister Willie Mongin said the ministry was in talks with industry groups to address the labour concerns and will also file a World Trade Organisation case against the European Union over its restrictions on palm oil biofuel by this year.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
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Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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