Golden-Agri Resource subsidiary cultivates new palm oil seedlings for better yield

JAKARTA - SMART, a subsidiary of Golden-Agri Resources Ltd, has announced cultivation of a palm planting material which will enable the company to increase oil yields to the highest level in the industry.

The materials - Eka 1 and Eka 2 - were developed in the company's research centres and approved for cultivation by Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture on April 21, 2017, according to release issued on Monday.

SMART director Mr Daud Dharsono, said the breakthrough is following intense efforts by the company to deliver sustainable production of palm oil to meet growing demands. "We will continue to identify new technologies and accelerate the adoption of the latest modern techniques to enhance not only our own sustainable agricultural practices, but those of the industry as a whole."

Building on two decades of research, the new planting materials were developed naturally through conventional selection programme and tissue culture from elite palms. They carry the potential of increasing the company's crude palm oil yield to more than 10 tonnes of crude palm oil per hectare per year at prime age from the current capability of 7.5-8 tonnes/hectare/year under optimal weather and soil conditions.

Indonesia's industry average yield is still below 4 tonnes/hectare/year.

At its prime maturity, the Eka 1 seedlings are expected to yield 10.8 tonnes of crude palm oil per hectare, with oil extraction levels of 32 per cent due to the exceptionally high ratio of oil in the fruit. The Eka 2 seedlings are expected to yield 13.0 tonnes per hectare and oil extraction levels of 36 per cent. In addition, Eka 1 and Eka 2's expected time to harvest is 24 months, compared to the current industry average of 30 months.

Over the next five years, the company will multiply these clones through tissue culture, to cultivate a sufficient quantity to plant over a larger commercial area starting in 2022.