BARNABAS ORERE PONDROS
THERE is rising demand for palm oil as a sustainable and renewable fuel source, and Papua New Guinea can expand the industry to meet this rising demand and simultaneously use income to improve living standards, Alan Oxley of World Growth says.
“Demand for palm oil as a food source and a biofuel has risen substantially in recent years,” Mr Oxley said.
“Given the growing demand for palm oil and the recent expansion of palm oil into PNG, there is a lot of room to expand the oil palm industry in PNG,” he said.
On that note, he urged the development of the industry as oil palm plantations were unique to tropical climates, limiting production and market share to few nations.
Mr Oxley, chairman of World Growth, a free market think tank, said PNG could tap into this limited scenario and transpose from there, noting that the World Bank had recognised palm oil as “one of the best ways to raise living standards in developing nations”.
“While the Government should not promote one product, palm oil has proved to be a highly efficient crop and very effective at raising living standards, particularly for small landholders,” he said.
“Palm oil plantations return a higher income per hectare than all other forms of plantations,” he told The National in an interview recently.
He said palm oil uses less land, energy and fertiliser and returned more energy per hectare than other oilseed crops.
Mr Oxley, also a climate change skeptic, said oil palm also had a life span of 20-30 years which was better for the environment and greenhouse gas emissions.