JAKARTA: Strategies devised to debunk myths surrounding palm oil must leverage today’s technological advancements, including the cyber platform where news travels fast, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin. (pix)

Therefore, an organisation like the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) needs to place more emphasis on easily digestible, bite-sized information as narratives and graphics to change perceptions, she said.

“The propaganda against palm oil has taken a more serious turn, and it is something CPOPC needs to counter in a more effective manner,” she told reporters after co-chairing the 9th Ministerial Meeting of CPOPC here.

The meeting, co-chaired by Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, was also attended virtually by officials from Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Honduras and Ghana in their capacities as observer countries.

At the meeting, Zuraida expressed her concern regarding the anti-palm oil campaign sentiment, which has been highlighted from time to time by various parties.

“It is a known fact that palm oil is a far more efficient crop compared to other oil-producing crops,” she stressed.

Airlangga echoed the sentiment as he noted the growing trend of discriminatory policies against palm oil that are detrimental to the development of the palm oil sector.

“CPOPC must maintain its pivotal role in supporting and safeguarding the collective interest of its members in the palm oil sector,” he said, adding that Indonesia expects its palm oil export value to surge 155 per cent year-on-year to US$29 billion (US$1=RM4.23) in 2021.

Meanwhile, Zuraida urged CPOPC, as a council that encourages engagements in the development of a sustainable palm oil industry globally, to continue assisting millions of oil palm smallholders and stakeholders globally.

“We want them fully committed to sustainability and encapsulating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in line with global demands,” she said.

In another development, Zuraida congratulated CPOPC for successfully completing the amendment to its charter, which was signed by both ministers today.

The new charter will facilitate the admission of new members and observer countries into the CPOPC fraternity soon.

Zuraida, who arrived here yesterday, is on a three-day working visit to Indonesia. She held an interview session with the local media and is scheduled to hold meetings, including with researchers at IPB University in Bogor, formerly known as Institut Pertanian Bogor.

She will also visit the Bogor Botanical Gardens, the oldest and most important botanical gardens in Indonesia, located 60 kilometres south of Jakarta.


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