The First Story of Developing Sustainable Palm Oil in China

The First Story of Developing Sustainable Palm Oil in China

Palmoilmagazine, JAKARTA – Nanbin Farms, a state company in City of Sanya, Hainan started importing slim shell palm oil seeds from Malaysia and Zaire (it is known as Democratic Republic of Kongo) to get new commercial plantation and to increase the available plantation production. But the company stopped producing in commercial level in 1991 because of lack of profits and research hardly stopped as well.

Zeng Xianhai described, eight years after palm oil stopped producing in Nanbin Farm, palm oil trees were for deforestation or artificial plants only for few decades. But the artificial trees and the derivatives became the basic things for Zeng to research. He wondered if palm oil could grow and adapt in China.

He found out that trees in northern of Dali in Yunnan could grow at latitude 25 degree north, had flowers and in fruit as usual. They were possibly spread because of the combination as artificial plants and natural dispersion, Zeng mentioned.

In 1998, a central government’s agency urged Tropical Agricultural Science Academy to start testing with imported seeds to make sure that vegetable oil supply in the country fulfilled.

The job was given to Zeng; rubber expert, Lin Weifu; and others. In 2021 after more than 20 years and efforts of two generations of research team – which was led by Zeng himself, the first palm oil variety could grow in China and produced more than 200 kg of CPO per mu which is called “Re-you 6”.

As quoted from Chinadialogue, the researchers develop other varieties within different characteristic, such as, durable to cold, high production, high oleat acid, no seed, long fruit stalk, slow height progress to ease harvest process.

In 2017, the team accomplished the first big scale palm oil planting in net tissue method. The new breeding was much better and faster from the traditional hybrid breeding, and really homogenous seeds that it is possible to multiply faster.

In the latest report of new variety at Hainan Daily, Zeng mentioned that the new variety breeding would change nowadays situation that China depends on foreign palm oil industries. (T2)


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