The Guardian published yesterday the untold story and real-life consequences that the European Union’s proposed palm oil ban will have on Malaysian farmers and communities should the palm oil ban go in to effect in 2020. The story also highlights how the proposed ban has “made the EU a dirty word in Malaysia” and damaged Europe’s image.
Speaking to several farmers in rural Malaysia, Hannah Ellis-Petersen reports on the devastating effects these farmers and their families will face should their livelihood be stripped from them.
Citing the all too real consequences the proposed palm oil ban will have on thousands of Malaysian farmers, Hannah Ellis Petersen speaks to these farmers who, for decades, have provided for their families and have lifted themselves out of poverty by tending to their oil palms.
“Yet for Malaysia’s smallholder farmers, many of whom were rescued from poverty when the government’s land authority, Felda, gave them 10 acres of land to harvest palm oil in the 80s, the allegations of environmental destruction are baffling. They account for 40% of Malaysia’s palm oil output and yet none engage in any land-grabbing, the slash and burn or deforestation practices that were pivotal proponent for MEPs voting to ban palm oil in biofuels.
“There are also wider political ramifications of the EU ban. Banning palm oil in biofuels is likely to also weaken the EU’s influence in southeast Asia, and hand even more more power to China – the biggest palm oil customer in the world – at a time when the EU has expressed concern about increasing Chinese domination of the region.”
Dato’ Aliasak, President of the National Association of Small Holders Malaysia, is quoted saying, “Palm oil has allowed the rural poor in Malaysia to develop our own land, lift ourselves and our families out of poverty, and take control of our own economic destiny.”
Read The Guardian’s full article online here.
Faces of Palm Oil is a joint project of the National Association of Small Holders (NASH), the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), the Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (DOPPA), the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) that seeks to advocate on behalf of Malaysian small farmers. To learn more, visit http://facesofpalmoil.org