Problems of palm oil

There are a lot of palm oil around us.
Actually, the oil causes environmental destruction and social problems.
In short, our consumption of palm oil causes deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia.
We want you to know the problems and causes. Let’s check them!

What is "plantation farming"?
Disappearing Rainforests
Other problems
Back to main island
What is “plantation farming”?

“Who grows oil palms?” “How do they produce so much palm oil?” 
    “Actually, they grow oil palms in the way, plantation farming.” 

Is that a great way?”

“Well, it is to be sure that they can produce much palm oil in that way, but it has many problems.”
    Plantation farming grows commercial crops on a large scale.
Plantation farming was widly seen in colonies in the world.
People have to work with low pays there.
They may be damaged seriously when they have a poor harvest because of terrible weather or else,
for the farming is monoculture.
And there is a case that people can’t grow crops  to eat since they produce too much commercial ones. 
How terrible working at plantation farming is!” 
   “The rights of human tends to be ignored there.” 
    The owners don’t care about environment so much.
Plantation farming also causes deforestation. 

  The example of monoculture economy   

suppose that country “M” grows only coffee.
there is terrible flood destroying coffee fields,
country “m” can sell nothing and become poor. 

“This case may apply to the countries growing oil palms!” 



Disappearing Rainforest

Will tropical Rainforest disappear?

There are valuable tropical rain forests in the countries growing oil palms like Malaysia and Indonesia.
Now more and more tropical rain forests are cut down to widen the oil palms fields there.
Let’s check the change of oil palm fields in Malaysia in a couple of decades!

1990's    2.5times wider      2010's
200million ha               490million ha
(data are taken from『主要国の農業情報調査分析報告書(2011)第3章 マレーシアの農業・農業政策日本総合研究所―農林水産省』)

  In Malaysia, the oil palms fields in 2010 was about 2.5 times as large as that in 1990.
Precious tropical rain forests are disappearing.

"Let’s see the demerits caused by deforestation. "

What happens when tropical rain forests disappear?
Many kinds of creatures live in tropical rain forests.
Particularly, Borneo elephant and orangutan, which are endangered species, are worried about their extinction.
Decreasing tropical rain forests means that animals and plants will lose the place to live in and to get their food.
Sometimes, the animals that lost place to live in destructed fields. So some people make traps or kill them.

(Pictures are taken by Mr.Hiroshi Tashiro, December 2025 in Malaysia)

Promoting global warming

Tropical rain forests are called as “lungs of the earth”
because they produce O2 and absorb CO2,
which is one of main causes of global warming.
Deforestation may promote grovel warming.

"In addition, island countries like Indonesia,
who grows oil palm may suffer from a raise of sea level because of global warming."

“I learned different problems relate each other.” 
“We must conserve the nature.”

 “Let's see other problems caused by palm oil industry.”






Other problems

Dangers at farms  

Actually, the people who work at oil palm fields cannot work safely.                                                          
They have to harvest the fruits with a poll by hands
because the fields have too many trees to ride in vehicles there.
And the heavy fruits sometimes hit people. 


Employment of children  

  Many people work at the fields.
“Not only adults but also children have to work there.
It is dangerous for children to work and they sometimes have accidents there,
and the children cannot go to schools.”

“What is needed for them to go to school?” 

Suffering pesticides 
Much pesticides are used to rid of weeds, to kill insects there.

“I can suppose that using pesticides makes farming easy, but…”

Using too much pesticides affect people’s health.
Moreover, when the pesticides leak into livers,
creatures living there are killed.
Drinking the water of the contaminated livers can cause diseases.

The people robbed of land   

Sometimes, companies and governments develop the land to make farms
without consents of owners.
The people robbed of
their land face difficulties to live.
And it also means that traditional customs and lifestyles are lost.




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