For a child, when one mentions palm tree, the first thing that may come to his or her mind would be the rows of palms that one can see when travelling along the highways. An inquisitive child may ask “What is that orange looking fruit on the tree?” The fresh fruit bunches may attract attention but just knowing that it is where palm oil comes from would not do justice to this beneficial fruit. There is definitely a lot more to know about from how it is grown, the processes to obtain palm oil, its uses, its nutritious value and to its contribution to the economy.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (“KLK”), one of the leading plantations companies in Malaysia, had through its KLKCare corporate responsibility initiatives, collaborated with Science Bridge Academy to design its KLK Palm Oil Education Programme. The programme focused on creating awareness about the uses and benefits of palm oil. The KLK Palm Oil Education workshops comprised of a talk on the uses of palm oil in our daily lives, economy development and career opportunities in palm oil industry. The students also have the chance to participate in interactive quizzes and hands-on soap making activities. 

KLKCare rolled out its Palm Oil Education programme to 4 schools in Ipoh namely SMJK Sam Tet, SMK Methodist (ACS), SMK St Michael and SMK Perempuan Methodist. A total of 855 students participated in this programme during June and August 2018. This is an extension of the same programme which was undertaken where similar information was shared between 1,150 students of 5 schools in the Klang Valley.

KLK believes that early education is essential to ensure the right foundation and positive impact are established. A survey was carried out at the beginning and upon completion of the workshops indicated that 86% of the students found that the workshops helped them have a better understanding about the palm oil industry and were beneficial to them.

Malaysia, as the second largest producer of palm oil in the world after Indonesia, accounted for 39% of world palm oil production and 44% of world exports. The Malaysian palm oil industry is a significant contributor to Malaysia’s overall economy, providing both employment and income from exports. To fulfill the growing global need for oils and fats sustainably and to stay at the forefront of this industry, it is important that we raise better awareness on the palm oil industry as well as to build up a more relevant talent pool for Malaysia’s economy. To learn more about palm oil, you may visit edupalm.org.my