Title: Enhancing sustainability amongst oil palm smallholders in Malaysia

Authors: Halima Begum; Chamhuri Siwar; A.S.A. Ferdous Alam; Er Ah Choy; Suraiya Ishak; Lubna Alam

Addresses: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia ' Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract: Oil palm research is performed to develop new and upgraded products to face global challenges and thus, the industry is emerging as a dependable source of empowerment for the country. However, it also poses a serious threat due to unawareness of sustainability issues by the smallholders. Thus, this study assesses the actions of oil palm smallholders in a sustainable manner from the environment, economic, and social perspectives. The primary data is collected through a questionnaire survey with 50 supported smallholders in the Terengganu state under the FELDA scheme in Malaysia. The result demonstrates that dependent smallholders with primary level education are responsible for most of the pollution in the environment due to wrong agricultural practices. The study suggests that there is room for improvement in the social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainability through intensive and quality training, depending on the role played by the authorities and the dependent smallholder cooperatives.

Keywords: sustainability; oil palm; palm oil industry; smallholders; environment sustainability; economic sustainability; social sustainability; FELDA; Federal Land Development Authority; spider diagram; Terengganu; Malaysia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2018.090853

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2018 Vol.14 No.1, pp.62 - 79

Received: 13 Jul 2017
Accepted: 08 Jan 2018

Published online: 23 Mar 2018 *

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