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Palm planters in Malaysia face labour shortage as Indonesia workers stay away

Weaker ringgit, increased opportunities at home hit number of field hands

Malaysian palm oil planters estimate 70% of their workforce comes from Indonesia, with staff traditionally drawn by the chance to earn higher wages in a culture with many similarities to their own.

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIAN palm oil planters say they are bracing for a severe labour shortage, with workers who typically stream over the border from neighbouring Indonesia to harvest crops staying away due to the weaker ringgit and increased opportunities at home.

A dearth of workers

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