Nosen Kuad and Rebecca Lambert are a mother-daughter pair who cultivate palm oil in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. In this video, Lambert shares how cultivating palm oil has not only changed her life but also others in the community. This family is one of many whose standard of living has been significantly elevated thanks to this “golden crop”. Lambert isn’t the only one singing the praises of Malaysian palm oil. Leaders and experts from throughout Europe are also praising palm oil for its economic benefits.
Family is thankful for oil palm plantation
Lambert’s family has cultivated palm oil for three generations. She inherited the land from her grandfather. When asked if oil palm cultivation has provided her family with facilities and social services they hadn’t previously enjoyed, Lambert beamed. “Our life has totally changed,” she said, “because we have money.” The income the family earns from their plantation has enabled them to purchase a home, donate to their church and help a paralyzed uncle pay his medical bills. Lambert says it’s good for the village, too, because she’s able to provide jobs to many locals.”They do not have to go to the city center to have a job,” she explained.
Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world. It has more than five million hectares of oil palm planted. More than 40 percent of these hectares are tended by family farmers such as Lambert and Kuad. These smallholders are assisted by organizations which help them sustainably produce the premium oil-rich fruit and sell it for a fair price. These organizations are also helping family farmers earn their Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification. MSPO certification will be mandatory for all Malaysian palm oil producers by 2019.
More praise for palm oil
- Four European Parliament members visited Malaysia and were impressed with how the Malaysian government and its palm oil industry have successfully reduced the country’s poverty. The Parliament members called Malaysian palm oil the “Jewel in the Crown” as the largest source of agricultural export revenue for the country. In Malaysia, poverty rates are down to less than 5 percent. More than 570,000 people have jobs in the palm oil business, and another 290,000 are employed downstream
- In 2016, the London-based consulting firm Europe Economics found that palm oil adds enormous benefit to the world’s economy. Palm oil imports add $39 billion of GDP growth globally and helps create 2.9 million jobs worldwide.