Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) has developed a new planting seed that promises to increase crude palm oil’s (CPO) yield to its highest level in the Indonesian palm oil industry, a move which highlights the company’s efforts to improve sustainability in the palm oil industry.
“Research into productivity is key, and will enable us to increase yields without having to open more land for agriculture thus meeting conservation requirements as well as global demand for food” Ayesha Khan, a spokesperson from the company told PRIMA this week. The firm also hope the new technology will boost incomes for smallholders.
GAR’s palm oil currently holds a yield of 7.5-8 tonnes per hectare under optimal conditions, with the industry’s yield averaging at around 4 tonnes per hectare. The new planting materials, Eka 1 and Eka 2, could potentially increase CPO yields to more than 10 tonnes per hectare. Both seeds were registered in Indonesia’s Catalogue of Seeds, and were approved for use by the Ministry of Agriculture on 21 April this year.
GAR will now concentrate on gaining a better understanding of the time required for sufficient planting material to be available to fulfil its commercial requirements. GAR will then start supplying the material to plasma smallholders, followed by independent smallholders who supply GAR’s mills, Khan said. GAR intend on building up enough stocks of the new planting material to plant over a large-scale commercial area, with the firm expecting that they will use the planting material in estates by around 2022.