Palm Oil Engineering Bulletin No.142 (Jan - Apr 2023) p34-37
The Potential of Robotics for Efficient and Sustainable Harvesting
Ahmad ‘Athif Mohd Faudzi* and Mohd Azwan Mohd Bakri*

Malaysia is the second-largest producer of palm oil in the world, after Indonesia, accounting for 25.8% of global production and 34.33% of palm oil exports in 2020 (MPOC, 2023). Palm oil is used in many industries, such as food, cosmetics, biofuels, and energy applications. Moreover, waste generated from the palm oil industry such as palm biomass and palm oil mill effluent are applicable as alternative for renewable energy generation and the use of palm oil for upstream and downstream products is expected to be increasing in demand.

The labor shortage issue in the oil palm industry has persisted for a long time, with a 10% loss of unharvested palm oil fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) each year, equivalent to RM2.5 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the condition as many foreign laborers returned to their home countries. The shortage of labour leads to an increase in production costs (Zunaira, 2019).

Author information:
* CAIRO, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra, 54100, Kuala Lumpur.
*Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.