Ahmad Sidek owns just over 14 hectares of land on peninsular Malaysia, on which he grows oil palm. Ahmad's experience with growing oil palm is replicated many thousands of times across Malaysia – he says that the unique nature of oil palm, with its reliable oil yields and long-term planting cycles, means that he has been able to secure a healthy income for his family. Ahmad is even able to grow bananas between the oil palm trees, supplementing his income with produce for the local market.
Ahmad has four children, who have also benefitted from the income and stability provided by palm oil with their access to a good education. They are even pursuing university degrees, with focuses including agricultural management. The cultivating palm oil, in Ahmad’s family, is clearly a family business.
Independent small farmers such as Ahmad take their social and environmental responsibilities very seriously. Malaysia has some of the most famous flora and fauna in Asia, and Ahmad and other smallholders are very positive about their role as protectors of their local environment. Their efforts help to ensure that the natural endowments of Malaysia can still be enjoyed by Ahmad's children and other future generations.