Malaysia opens to collaborations to ensure sustainability in agri-commodities

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is open to working with international parties, including government agencies, academicians, research institutes, industry players, and businesses to ensure the agri-commodity industry continues to develop progressively and sustainably, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.

“Looking at sustainability and circular economy, we realise that we have to work with many stakeholders and potential tech players to harness the latest technology to further explore the full potential of agri-commodity production.

“There is a need for better facilities, more advanced technologies and substantial investments into the industry to ensure a competitive edge against traditional practices,” she said in a her speech at the Malaysian-British Partnership Forum at the Caledonian Club, London recently.

Zuraida said Malaysia has been at the forefront of promoting palm oil and palm biomass in the manufacturing sector.

She said Malaysia’s National Biomass Strategy 2020 (NBS2020) set a target to turn palm biomass into higher-value products that would create an incremental gross national income (GNI) of £5.5 billion (RM30 billion) and 66,000 jobs while attracting £4.6 billion (RM25 billion) in investment and reducing carbon emissions by 12 per cent.

The ministry has integrated a circular economy into the production of agri-commodities, particularly palm oil, as an effective solution to optimise the usage of resources (raw materials) and minimise wastage from production, emissions and energy inefficiency.

“The circular economy model is undoubtedly the way forward for Malaysia’s agri-commodity sustainable and ethical sourcing.

“Despite the challenges of integrating it into the current linear model, the focus would be to create more value. There is much value extracted from reusing and recycling these raw materials,” she added.

The UK is Malaysia 19th largest trading partner. In 2021, the total trade of goods and services for both countries accounted for £5.2 billion.

Malaysia’s export of agricultural commodities (palm oil, rubber, timber, cocoa and pepper) contributed 14 per cent of the total trade, valued at £734 million, an increase of 17 per cent from £628 million in 2020. – BERNAMA

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