KOTA SAMARAHAN, Jan 29: Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) to form a collaborative framework to establish, strengthen and encourage synergistic commercial co-operation along the palm oil value chain.
Acting general manager Joseph Blandoi signed for Salcra, while SDP was represented by its chief strategy and innovation officer Dr Shariman Alwani.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is Salcra chairman, and Sime Darby Plantation executive deputy chairman and managing director Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh were present at the signing ceremony.
Speaking to reporters later, Uggah said Salcra needed to enhance its management capability to increase productivity.
“When we can achieve this, we can increase the dividends to our landowner participants. We also want to go beyond our current 54,000 hectares of plantations in the state.
“We still have a lot of NCR (native customary rights) land available for us to expand into, and this is our forte,” he said.
He said the collaboration with SDP was a very important step and a great privilege as SDP had the world’s biggest oil palm plantation with 600,000 planted hectares throughout Malaysia (including 34,000 hectares in Sarawak), Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Soloman Island and Liberia.
It also has a total of 72 mills and is the world’s largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), with a production capacity of over 2.46 million metric tonnes.
“It is involved in the full spectrum of the palm oil value chain, from upstream to downstream activities, R & D, renewables and agribusiness.
“So, we in Salcra realise there is a lot of their experiences they (SDP) can share with us as we move into the future,” he added.
Uggah said Salcra had five mills, while a new one was coming up.
“With its total production of 342,000 metric tonnes of crude palm oil, it should be able to support refinery activities,” he said,
He added that it was also looking at rubber plantation and cattle rearing in estates as these two areas have great growth potential.
Meanwhile, Mohd Bakke said there were many areas that SDP had identified in the collaboration framework.
“The intention here is to strengthen the oil palm industry by harnessing and taping the technologies that are the key components of the value chain.
“We are looking at selling our planting materials. They are high yielding material in the sense that they can produce up to eight tonnes of oil per hectare compared to the industry average of about four tonnes.
“We also provide plantation management services, consultancy services and good agronomic practices,” he said.
Mohd Bakke said SDP was also ready to work closely with Salcra to improve on its sustainability credentials and to link it to different corners of the world in terms of supporting services.
“This arrangement is a useful platform for both organisations to get more from the industry value chain,” he opined.
He added with Salcra having its fertilizer plant in Bintulu, it would make good business sense for SDP to procure a certain amount of fertiliser from there.
“So, from a commercial standpoint, this arrangement will benefit both sides,” he said. — DayakDaily