Boosting production of plantations to cater to increased demand

FGV Holdings Bhd is ramping up the production of banana, bamboo, coconut and paddy planting materials to meet the increasing domestic demand for crop farming activities.

According to FGV Group CEO Datuk Haris Fadzillah Hassan, utilising the right planting material is one of the main factors that determine the success of commercial crop production.

“The increase in demand from customers showcases our ability in offering various high-quality products through in-depth research in tissue culture, state-of-the-art research & development (R&D) infrastructures as well as over 50 years of experience in clonal research,” he said.

For the production of banana clonal varieties, it is targeted to reach two million this year, double from last year’s amount to cater to the demands for the Berangan, Cavendish and Tanduk species.

According to FGV, the production has been steadily rising at 100% annually since 2019.

Furthermore, the group targets to produce one million Betong bamboo species by 2022 from the current 200,000 as it is the most commercially popular bamboo type due to its multiple functions, from providing raw materials for construction to soil conservation and erosion control.

Haris pointed out that FGV’s Innovation Centre at Enstek in Negeri Sembilan became the first plant tissue culture laboratory in Malaysia to successfully produce Betong bamboo clonal seedlings on a large scale.

FGV also has plans to produce new bamboo clonal planting material of the Semantan variety by 2022, which can be used as raw materials for particle boards, handicrafts and sticks applications such as chopsticks, toothpicks and satay sticks.

The group will also increase the production of Pandan coconut planting material to 70,000 this year, a significant increase from last year’s 20,000.

Currently, 70% of the planting materials produced is supplied for FGV’s internal planting activity while 30% is sold to the domestic market.

Additionally, FGV hopes to produce 200,000 MATAG coconut seedlings by 2025, which is a hybrid breed crossed between the local Malayan Yellow or Red Dwarf coconut with the Tagnanan Tall (TAG) coconut from the Philippines.

“We also offer contract cloning services to mass-produce other types of planting materials based on customers’ needs for their farming or field planting projects. The planting materials that can be cloned include any plant that has commercial value and is suitable for in-vitro micro propagation,” Haris added.

As for paddy planting material, FGV has commenced the planting of 28-hectares of MRQ76 fragrant rice seed gardens last year in Sungai Leman in Selangor and Seberang Perak in Perak.

The planted MRQ76 seeds which were harvested in December 2020 and January 2021 will be used to commence 350-hectares of FGV’s fortified field fragrant rice contract farming scheme under the Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) in Seberang Perak and IADA Barat Laut, Selangor in March 2021. – Feb 18, 2021

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