Background

The MPOB-UKM Endowment Chair in Oil Palm Industry Development for a Sustainable Economy, was officially launched on July 5, 2012 at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Focusing on the socio-economics research aspects of the industry, the purposes of the Chair to develop research leadership role in the development of palm oil industry in sustainable economy and society. In addition, the Chair is also intended to foster public-private cooperation and partnership in income generation and welfare enhancement to promote socioeconomic development of local communities. These, in turn, will increase the capacity and profile of Malaysia as an economic model with a sustainable palm oil industry. The following four strategic research areas under this Chair are endeavours to find solutions to complex social, environmental and economic challenges:

Income & Business Potentials

Civil Society &
Community

Environmental Sustainability

CLUSTER

Policy & Regulation

Since more than 80% of Malaysian palm oil is exported, therefore it is important to examine in detail the different impacts of various external policies and interventions on palm oil. The understanding of the issues will enhance the ability of regulatory bodies to shape policies and regulations to effectively address the circumstance. The objectives of this research area encompass spearheading research programmes on impacts of external and internal trade policies and regulations on the industry, society and economy of the nation; as well as to strengthen engagement with policy and decision makers to formulate policies and industry practices with socioeconomic dimensions for the oil palm industry.

CLUSTER

Income & Business Potentials

Contributions of the oil palm industry to the overall national economy are well established; however its specific role and importance in alleviating poverty and raising the standard of living of Malaysians are not sufficiently studied and documented. In addition, potential businesses within the palm oil supply chain have not been fully explored so that benefits of the industry can be enjoyed by all levels of the society. In light of this, the objectives of this research area are to quantify and analyse the specific contributions and impacts of the palm oil industry development to the society and in entrepreneurship development; and to identify palm oil-related businesses that have large income potential and benefits to society. Research areas under this cluster includes income and business potentials among smallholder’s communities and social business, entrepreneurial and value creation activities among palm oil smallholders.

CLUSTER

Civil Society & Community

The palm oil industry has been negatively portrayed in various international media. For example, issues related to deforestation, GHG emissions, and impacts on indigenous communities have been used by some quarters to stir unbalanced view against palm oil and palm oil related industries. In view of this, the objective of this research area is to spearhead research programmes on evidence-based information about the impacts of palm oil industry on the economy, society, and the environment.

CLUSTER

Environmental Sustainability

The well-being of peoples in nations, among others, depends on the well-being of the environment which is an important aspect of a sustainable economy. As such, it important that research in this area to be directed to spearhead research programmes on environmental management programmes by the palm oil industry and their consequences on the society and economy.