PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis), originating from West Africa and thriving in tropical climates, has gained immense popularity as a significant source of oil for various industries. It is widely utilized in the food, cosmetics, and biofuel sectors.
Palm oil could develop up to 20 meter high. It has long leaf with strong stalk. Its fresh fruit bunch (FFB) is red or orange. The FFB could be big in every stalk. Every FFB could contain of 1.000 seeds and every seed is full of oil.
Palm oil production is very important for the economy globally namely in Southeast Asia and Latin America. But palm oil is also the source of controversy because of deforestation, unsustainable land use, the negative impacts for the environment and local people.
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To promote sustainable production, some certification programs have been launched, such as, RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and ISPO (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil). The goals are to make sure that palm oil would be responsibly produced by noticing rights of workers, local people, and maintain the environment remain good.
Advantages of Palm Oil
Palm oil has lots of advantages, such as, source of vegetable oil. It is the main source applied to many food products and cosmetics. Palm oil could be used as vegetable oil for industrial machine and vehicle.
Escalating economy, palm oil production could highly contribute to revenue for each producer, such as, Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil industries hire many workers, escalating the local people’s economy.
Source of nutrition, FFB contains of significant mineral and vitamin, such as, vitamin E and A, and unsaturated fatty acid. Palm oil is also applied in food product which is full of vitamin and mineral.
Fuel for industries, besides being as source of vegetable oil, palm oil can be used as material for many industries, such as, soap, detergent, candle, and biofuel. Recovery for degraded areas. Palm oil could recover degraded areas, such as, former mining areas or deforestation. Planting palm oil sustainably would escalate soil quality and minimize erosion.
Besides having lots of advantages, palm oil has negative impacts that need to notice and should be well managed through sustainable practices. The impact negatives are to environment. Palm oil production always relates to environmental damages because forest cut and peat. these could make natural habitat gone and worsen climate change.
Palm oil is one kind of monoculture plantation because it is said, palm oil concentrates to one plantation and could escalate the risks to pest or disease attack.
Raise social issue, palm oil is always linking with social issues, such as, area conflict and force that would make worse impact to the local society.
Taken as not-environmental, palm oil production could influence ecology balance and potentially raise social issue. That is why it needs action to maintain sustainable production to remain sustainable for many years to go.
Still depends on marke, palm oil is one major commodity in Indonesia and it depends on the markets and escalates unstable price change risks.