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Where is the MPOB heading?
Mahbob Abdullah | 16 Nov 2018 00:30
I recently attended a meeting with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) at its office in Bangi, Selangor. I was with about 30 other friends from the industry, who are mainly owners of plantations. Some are planters who have worked in the industry for a long time. We wanted to have an exchange of ideas and see how problems could be solved through research.

The MPOB does the research on oil palm in a quiet area with its own laboratories, and it has a showroom, bookshop and library. It used to be called Porim, or the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia, until it was merged with Porla, the licensing and regulatory board for oil palm planting, processing and trade.

But its original aim was to work with the industry to improve yield by finding new genetic bases for the oil palm, creating crosses, and finding ways to fight diseases and pests. With the merger, it also has to see that the industry grows smoothly, under the rules set to prevent substandard seedlings being sold or planted, or that not too many mills are being built that could cause over-capacity.

The MPOB is funded through a cess collected from growers. The plantation companies grew to rely on MPOB to carry out basic research work. It has a board of directors plotting its future comprising government figures as well as directors, including from governmentlinked companies (GLCs) such as Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and FGV Holdings Bhd.

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