KUALA LUMPUR (March 15): European Commission should lift restrictions on palm-biofuel as it’ll greatly hurt livelihood of palm oil smallholders and eventually drive them to poverty, according to Felcra Bhd.
* Decision by the European Commission to classify palm as not a “green fuel” and accusation that cultivation of oil palm is the cause of deforestation will have a devastating impact to 112,454 smallholders whose lands are managed by Felcra, it says in statement
* Action by the European Commission is discriminatory as other vegetable oils such as soy are not singled out
* New restrictions will have direct impact on future palm oil demand and a profound impact on prices
* “The majority of our smallholders are dependent on palm oil as their main source of income,” Felcra says
** Prevailing low palm prices has cut smallholders’ income to an avg of RM450
(US$110) a month since 2018, from avg of RM1,200 (US$293) a month in 2017
* Felcra will pressure Malaysian govt to reciprocate ban on consumption of EU products and services nationwide if EU fails to immediately lift restrictions on palm