COVID-19 pushes Malaysia’s palm oil industry into labour crunch

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The COVID-19 crisis has pushed Malaysia’s labour-reliant palm oil industry into a labour crunch so severe that it is now looking to recruit recovering drug addicts and prisoners.

Producers of the tropical oil are reaching out to prison departments in search of locals for work in the palm industry, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Association.

It is to be noted that Malaysia, which is the world’s second-largest producer of the commodity after Indonesia, currently accounts for 28% of world palm oil production and one-third of world exports.