Boosting Oil Palm Health
These island nations are major producers of important tropical agricultural products, including palm oil, natural rubber, cocoa, coffee, tea, rice, and spices. The crude palm oil industry in particular is vital to the region’s economy. Seventeen million tonnes of the commodity is used annually in the production of food, industrial, biofuel, and cosmetic products. Malaysia is the world’s largest supplier of palm oil, meeting three quarters of the world’s demand, followed by Indonesia, which supplies one quarter.
As demand continues to rise, growers need to explore new methods to increase production by optimizing their available acreage. A typical oil palm does not begin to produce fruit until three or four years after it has been planted, so farmers must focus on optimizing yields from their mature trees. Careful micronutrient management is the most effective way to ensure each tree produces the most fruit.