Malaysian palm oil is essential to food security. This is more important than ever as the United Nations warns that the COVID-19 pandemic could almost double the number of people facing extreme hunger by the end of 2020. In a recent Facebook Live webinar hosted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), MPOC CEO Datuk Dr. Kalyana Sundram discussed Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil’s role in feeding the post-pandemic world. 


Amid the current pandemic and rapid population growth – from 1.6 billion at the start of the 20th century to more than 7 billion today – producing enough safe, nutritious food without harming the environment is of utmost importance. 


Dr. Sundram said that when the countries will start coming out of the effects of this pandemic, food security for their nation will be of paramount importance for them and palm oil, being the most affordable edible oil will have a huge role to play. The panelists agreed that palm oil will have many post-COVID opportunities due to its higher versatility both in food and non-food uses as well as its competitive price advantage.


Because Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil is the most land-efficient edible oil, it plays an important role in world food security. An additional 35 million tons of oils and fats will be needed annually by 2050. It would require 88 million hectares of land for soybean or 58 million hectares for sunflower to produce that amount. Alternatively, it will only require 9 million hectares of oil palm.


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Efficiency paired with the Malaysian government’s commitment to conservation and responsible agricultural practices make the Malaysian palm oil industry especially well-suited to help feed the world. 


In addition to Dr. Kalyana, the distinguished webinar panelists included Datuk Nageeb Wahab, CEO of MPOA; Mr. Mohd Haris Arshad, Managing Director of Sime Darby Oils, and Mr. U. R. Unnithan, Founder & CEO of Sumwim Global.

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