The European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) has expressed its disapproval with regards to the decision made by the Sri Lankan Government, to ban palm oil in Sri Lanka.
The EPOA predicts that the ban is likely to result in increased food prices, and will hinder the income of small producers. More land will also be required for alternate edible-oil production.
The EPOA said that instead of a blanket ban, they would support the production of sustainable palm oil, as it was a more sensible option. According to a study conducted by University of Göttingen, it was found that palm oil which was produced sustainably could help meet the global demand of vegetable oil and thereby support small producers, the world over.
Palm oil and palm kernel oil together represent 40% of the global vegetable oil production. Palm oil has the highest yield compared to other oil crops per hectare of land and hence is readily available.
One hectare of palm oil trees produce on average 3.8 tons of oil each year. About 73 million tons of palm oil is produced annually. In comparison to palm oil growth and production, more land would be required to produce alternatives such as soybean or coconut oil.
EPOA also said it was willing to contribute to multi-country scientific research on the impact of palm oil production in Sri Lanka and would propose to lift the ban on sustainably produced palm oil imports at least for the time being.