FGV-APL conducts field day to increase awareness on best agriculture practices amongst smallholders in Sarawak

Miri, Sarawak.

Asian Plantation Limited (APL), a subsidiary of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV), held a field day for smallholders surrounding its plantation and mill here to increase awareness on best agriculture practices in their respective estates.

Themed “Towards Sustainable Maximum Yields”, the one-day programme includes a briefing on fruit grading by Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) representatives at the mill and best agriculture practices briefing in the estate to increase yield and productivity. Among others, they were also introduced to the latest innovation in palm.

Apart from the smallholders, village heads and Native Customary Right (NCR) land owners, also took part in the one-day programme which was officiated by Telang Usan State Assemblyman YB Dennis Ngau.

Also present were FGV Executive Vice-President Datuk Abd Halim Hamid, FGV Head of Plantation (East Malaysia) Denys Colin Munang and CEO of APL Alberto Domingo.

In his speech, Ngau urged the smallholders to work together with FVG to maximise their production of their farms.

“Felda and FGV have more than 50 years’ experience in palm oil. I am heartened that they are here (through APL) and there is so much we can learn from their success,” he said.

He also said NCR land owners can also work with FGV to develop their land with palm oil.

FGV Group President and CEO Dato’ Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said following the acquisition of APL in 2014, the company was keen to develop the plantation further to maximise its potential.

Currently, about 13,241 hectares out of 24,686 hectares land belonging to APL in five estates; BJ Corporation Sdn Bhd, Incosetia Sdn Bhd, Fortune Plantation Sdn Bhd, Kronos Plantation Sdn Bhd and Grand Performance Sdn Bhd; are planted, containing around 7,485 hectares of mature trees.

“While we develop APL, the local community will also benefit from our growth,” said Emir.

Abd Halim said in his speech that FGV would oversee the completion of the Lemeting Bridge across Tinjar River here, which was delayed due to local disputes.

“This will enable better access to our mill,” he said, adding that currently its mill is only operating at 40 percent of its capacity, of which 80 percent of the fruits processed comes from smallholders’ suppliers.

With the completion of the bridge and connecting roads, the mill can run at 90% of its capacity in three and a half years, he added.

This is the second time that APL-FGV has conducted a field day in the area as part of its corporate responsibility (CR) to educate its existing and potential fresh fruit bunch (FFB) suppliers

“We see tremendous improvement in fruit quality that was sent to the mill following the first field day held in February. From grade C and D, almost 100 percent smallholders are now sending grade A fruits,” said Domingo.