25 Nov 2015

PNG to be member of Palm Oil cabal

9:11 am on 25 November 2015
This picture taken on September 16, 2015 shows 13-year-old Indonesian girl Asnimawati working at a palm oil plantation area in Pelalawan, Riau province in Indonesia's Sumatra island.

An Indonesian girl working at a palm oil plantation in Indonesia. Photo: AFP

Papua New Guinea is among the countries set for inclusion in a new OPEC-like council for the world's leading palm oil producing countries.

The New York Times reports that Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's top two palm oil producers, have signed an agreement to set up the council in a bid to ensure price stability by managing production and stock in the global market.

Indonesia's Resources Minister Rizal Ramli says the Jakarta-based council can be a "game changer" for an industry under pressure from falling prices and unsustainable farming practices.

Rizal says membership will be extended to other producers such as PNG, Brazil, Colombia, Thailand, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Uganda.

He claims the council will develop a framework for sustainable palm oil farming, which will help to prevent the burning of forests to clear land for agriculture in Indonesia that has caused a thick dusty haze across the region.