Sindh, Balochistan coastal areas: Felda Malaysia interested in providing technical co-operation
Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) Malaysia has shown interest in providing technical co-operation regarding growing palm oil in the coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh. The meeting took place between technical team of Felda, led by Dr Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, Group President/CEO and BoI Chairman, Mohammad Zubair on Monday.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013
The CEO apprised Chairman BoI that Pakistan's palm oil import was around 70 percent of its total imports from Malaysia whereas Felda was ready for co-operation regarding growing palm oil in the coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh. He also agreed to send a technical evaluation team to Pakistan to see the situation on ground. The visiting team also proposed that Pakistan might seek support of the World Bank to engage Felda as project consultant. As Felda will purchase all the farm output the venture would be risk-free.
Felda will lease 30,000 hectares of land for planting palm oil. Land availability will be the responsibility of Government of Pakistan or Felda to lease 3,000 hectare from the Government and also advise neighbouring farmers about the best farming techniques. Government to ensure farmers' adherence to the terms and conditions agreed with Felda. A minimum of 30,000 hectares will be required for the purpose.
After the briefing of the Malaysian delegation, Chairman BoI stated that Pakistan imported mostly palm oil which accounted for more than 96 percent of its total imports. He said "we need Malaysian collaboration in the own-steaming activities of palm oil leading to the development of soap, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics may be sought. The need for the training of manpower for oil palm plantation, management and production technology may be emphasised, in this regard."
He further said the import of palm oil might be reduced by undertaking of investments in Pakistan in the form of joint ventures with palm oil players. He also welcomed the suggestion of the CEO Felda that Pakistan could explore the possibility of planting palm oil in Pakistan, as many Malaysian companies were looking overseas to expand their businesses because of shortage of land in Malaysia.
The felda is a Malaysian government agency initially founded to handle the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas and to organise smallholder farms growing cash crops. Felda has launched a number of private corporate entities. The largest of these, Felda Global Ventures Holdings, is considered to be the world's largest plantation operator, with 811,140 hectares (2,004,400 acres) of oil palms, mainly across Peninsular Malaysia, but also including other parts of Malaysia and the world. It is the third largest palm oil company in the world by planted acreage.