Expert Disagrees With EU’s Palm Oil Concerns, Says Forest Will Be Replenished

A Nigerian palm oil expert, John Omale, has said that he disagrees
with concerns been spread by the European Union and other global warming
advocates that palm oil cultivation was contributing to global
deforestation.

While he contends that trees get cut down and bush cleared in order
to build plantations, Omale said mature plantations form natural forests
that give safe habitat to wild life.

The EU economic bloc has said that it would phase out the use of palm
oil as a feedstock for its biodiesel, while global warming campaigners
have lobbied for palm oil usage in processed food and other various
products to be halted.

On Wednesday, Malaysia’s biggest supermarket chain Mydin, began taking out products labelled ‘palm oil free.’

Omale said, “When you grow oil palm after a long period of time, you
will see that the interaction in the eco system starts to come back
again.

“When you clear out land for a plantation, it becomes a forest again after a very long period of time.”

The palm oil industry is valued at $60bn, 85 per cent of which goes to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Both governments have begun lobbying against attacks on palm oil by global warming advocates.

Omale said the stance taken by the EU is disturbing to Nigeria
especially going by its potential employment opportunity for the
country’s unemployed youth.

He added, “The call for reduction in palm oil consumption is not
encouraging for me. With an increase in population, an encouragement for
us to go into agriculture, undergraduates going here and there, no work
to do, palm oil plantations will increase. It will create jobs for
people.

“People will also make money from the value chain, they will be able to sell to others and make money too.

The palm kernel cake can also be used to formulate feed for
livestock. If you reduce consumption, it will lead to deviant acts in
the society.”

Author: NZE Ihunanya

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