I do not typically post news articles these days, but I think this news article is particularly relevant on one issue that I raised earlier.
MALAYSIA is losing billions of ringgit in palm oil exports because there is not enough foreign workers to harvest fruit bunches in the oil palm fields.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) estimates that the industry need to hire another 40,000 foreign workers to harvest the riped fruit bunches in order to achieve the 19.3 million tonnes of oil output target.
“The trees are fruiting, but there’s acute shortage of harvesters and this is affecting the country’s palm oil export earnings,” he told reporters on the sidelines of MPOB seminar titled “Labour – Key Driver For Continued Sustainability of the Oil Palm Industry” held here yesterday.
“If the government approves of another 40,000 foreign workers, we can reduce wastage and surpass the 19.3 million tonne output target easily,” Lee said.
It is estimated that millions of tonnes of fruit bunches rot in the fields because planters are not able to hire enough foreign workers to harvest them. [Labour shortage hits palm oil export earnings. New Straits Times. May 15 2012]
This is the difference between debating from market knowledge with context and theorizing by reading one line in a news article.