When China Developed Palm Oil

Doc. Chinadialogue
When China Developed Palm Oil

InfoSAWIT, HAINAN - According to the article written by Jiang Yifan from Chinadialogue, in the past few decades, China, as a matter of fact, did many things to develop palm oil plantations as parts of their production to get much more vegetable oil by their own power, including to fulfill the material to produce biofuel.

In the recent days in Hainan, a scientist team that has been working for more two decades developed palm oil variety which fits to be developed in China. It is said, this would be immediately applied to be commercial plantation.

In fact, Jiang Yifan wrote, the first palm oil planting in China for small plantation started since 1926 by Chinese who once live abroad. The seeds were imported from Southeast Asia and started planting in Hainan at the northern China for it is tropical.

It was developing in Hainan for two big scale planting periods. The first one was in 1950s and 1960s. At the period, there was nationally lack of vegetable oil supply.

Chief of Palm Oil Development Group at Rubber Research Institute from Tropical Agriculture Academy China, Zeng Xianhai said, the country spent 100 million yuan to get palm oil seed imports and planted in many regions, such as, Yunnan. At the time, it was equal to annual gross domestic product in some small town by the late of 1950s. In 1965, palm oil plantations were developing for about 43.300 hectares and 41.300 hectares were in Hainan.

Zeng Xianhai said, the imported palm oil seeds were in low quality, the fruit had thick shell or known as dura (one type of palm oil seeds).

Because of lack of cultivation knowledge, palm oil production was not increasing. In 1950s and 1980s, every ‘mu’ or 1/15 hectares or 666 meters square could produce 20 or 30 kg of crude palm oil (CPO). But now, the main producer country in Southeast Asia could produce 270 kg CPO in the same ‘mu’ or width.

In 1970s, every house in China was in charge to what farmers (smallholders) would be about to plant. In fact, they chose to plant rubber, pepper, and mango while they mostly did not like to plant palm oil.

Palm oil planting for the second period started in the early of 1980s when a Singaporean company did partnership with state plantation company in Chengmai, Hainan. They started developing palm oil plantations for about 2.660 hectares within more productive seeds – known as tenera. Unfortunately, the cultivation did go well because of bad management and narrow areas which did not fit the economic scale. (T2)

For more, please read InfoSAWIT, March 2022