Oil palm industry roadmap drafted to develop 56,641 hectares
December 26, 2013
The country’s first oil palm industry roadmap seeks to develop 56,641.71 hectares of land with bearing and non-bearing oil palms and about one million hectares of land suitable for oil palm plantation expansion by 2023.
Based on the industry’s draft 2014-2023 roadmap, the industry is expected to benefit about 300,000 farmers.
The crafting of the roadmap was spearheaded by the Philippine Coconut Authority during a summit in Cebu attended by representatives from Philippine Palm Oil Development Council, Inc. (PPDCI), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), University of Mindanao, Local Government Units (LGUs) and private stakeholders.
PCA is hoping to build and develop a strong industry of oil palm and to establish a viable product via profitable venture.
“We believe that palm oil can emerge as another significant agricultural crop if we work hand-in-hand in nurturing and development of the oil palm industry,” said PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes.
The roadmap, PCA aims to develop the oil palm industry through gainful production, processing and marketing of oil palm products and by-products and make it a dynamic, innovative and self-sufficient industry that complements the coconut industry by planting at least 300,000 hectares and add a milling capacity of about 500 tons per hour.
PCA also hopes to establish strong partnerships with the private industry players as they show a growing interest in developing the oil palm industry. “There should be a Shared Social Responsibility (SSR) in oil palm farming among big plantations,” Dr. Pablito P. Pamplona, Secretary of PPDCI added.
PCA Deputy Administrator for Research, Development, and Extension Branch (RDEB) Carlos B. Carpio noted that no trees will be cut just to give favor in planting oil palm trees.
“Those lands which are considered for oil palm plantation expansion are idle and unproductive lands,” he added. PCA and PPCDI are insisting that no new forest would be felled or burned down unlike the much criticized practice in Malaysia and Indonesia in expanding the oil palm plantation wherein forest, peat lands and wildlife habitat were destroyed.
Earlier, PCA director Jesus Arranza said the PCA is set to conduct a topographic survey of around 100,000 hectares of farmlands in Bukidnon. This way, we have something to show investors in terms of where they can locate.
Contiguous farmlands are necessary as it would be costly for investors to locate plantations and mills in different areas, Arranza explained.
According to the Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco) of the 304,350 hectares of land suitable for palm-oil plantation in Mindanao, only 20,000 hectares has been used by the industry.
Medco said that Mindanao, particularly Caraga Region, has the highest potential for the palm-oil industry since it is one of the most suitable areas for palm-oil plantation due to good quality of soil type and fair weather conditions.
Oil millers in Mindanao include Filipinas Palm Oil Plantations, Inc., Agusan Plantations, Inc. (Agumil and Buluan Mill), and Kenram Industrial and Development Inc .
Medco noted in its report that palm oil is considered as the world’s most productive oil because its versatile composition is maximized not only for edible oils but also in making food, chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
Medco further noted that palm oil’s domestic demand will continue to increase 5 percent a year in the next 10 years to 2020.