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 AS  Vol.10 No.10 , October 2019
Achieving High Soil Fertility, Efficient Fruit Harvesting and Low Carbon Footprint Palm Oil Production in Malaysia
Abstract: The current palm oil harvesting process removes the whole fruit bunch from the palm with most of the fruit unripe, and takes the whole fruit bunch from the plantation to a processing mill. There are two consequences. This robs the symbiotic palm/soil eco-system of important nutrients and steadily reduces soil fertility. Poor soil fertility is now the limit to palm oil production in peninsular Malaysia despite much use of expensive fertiliser, and weak palms in unhealthy soil are prone to the fungus Ganoderma. Secondly, it takes much energy to remove the fruit from the bunch and the quantity and quality of the oil is less than that of ripe fruit. All this is because ripe fruit—which naturally becomes loose—has been defined as “a problem” in harvesting. This paper proposes covering the fruit bunch in a mesh sack whilst ripening, which prevents ripe fruit naturally becoming loose from being a problem and transforms the whole harvesting process. This allows efficient fruit separation and fruit pressing to be done at the foot of the palm tree with only the oil being removed from the plantation, both simplifying and improving the harvesting process and maintaining the organic fertility cycle, adding value in every respect.
Cite this paper: Platts, M. and Leong, Y. (2019) Achieving High Soil Fertility, Efficient Fruit Harvesting and Low Carbon Footprint Palm Oil Production in Malaysia. Agricultural Sciences, 10, 1396-1403. doi: 10.4236/as.2019.1010102.
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