KLANG: The adoption of three advanced technologies have been identified as methods to enhance the country's palm oil industry and reduce the reliance on foreign labour.

Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said that these technologies – mechanisation, automation and digitalisation – could efficiently and effectively boost palm oil production.

He said government-linked company Sime Darby Plantation Bhd was currently implementing these technologies and had seen impressive results.

"The technologies being developed by Sime Darby Plantation aim to advance work mechanisation with the goal of reducing foreign labour in the future.They have invested significantly in mechanisation technology.

"For example, one worker is now required to manage every eight hectares of plantation. However, Sime Darby has increased this to 12.5 hectares, which is higher than our current ratio.

"The labour force used in our plantations, as we all know, is a significant contributor to our economy," he said after accompanying Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on a visit to a Sime Darby Plantation site in Pulau Carey here today.

Johari said Anwar had expressed concern about the nation's palm oil industry's ability to meet demands and production.

Therefore, he said the innovative technologies developed by Sime Darby Plantation should serve as an example to achieve similar goals.

"The prime minister is very concerned about ensuring that our oil palm industry is able to continuously meet demands.

"We don't want to cut down our forests anymore. We want to stick to what we have, so we aim to enhance our abilities by using technology and reducing reliance on foreign labour."

He added that he would ensure that the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and other industry players adopted these technologies.

"They have already implemented some of these technologies, and others are still in the prototype stage.

"I believe that if they can successfully achieve each of these technologies and mechanisms, then I will ensure that the MPOB adopts and introduces them to everyone."

Johari also said the government would support successful start-ups in introducing new technologies.

"Anwar emphasised the importance of start-ups in introducing such technologies. When they succeed, we want to ensure they can sell their technologies to industry players," he said.




Sumber : New Straits Times