Apical and Asian Agri Join to Help Smallholder Farmers Reach Improved Results

On May the 13th, at the second Singapore Dialogue of Sustainable World Resources, the main theme was “Commodities Outlook: Impact on Falling Prices” and four expert panelists were invited to talk about the impact of global commodity prices on the local plantation industry in Asia.

Among them were the president of Apical Group, Dato Yeo How, and the CEO of Idofood Agri Resources Ltd, Mark Wakefold.

The main highlight of the meeting was an introduction to a newfound partnership between Asian Agri and Apical Group, through a project that promises a 50% increase in the yields obtained by local smallholder farmers in the palm oil industry.

A Brand New Initiative from Asian Agri and Apical The two corporations have announced that they will be working together to distribute a new generation of oil palm seedlings that is expected to substantially increase yields, once smallholders replant their aging palm trees.

Asian Agri and Apical are two of the most important companies in the Indonesian palm oil industry, the latter being one of the largest exporters of palm oil in Indonesia, while the former is the main corporation that handles a large part of the natural palm oil resources throughout the entire country.

Dato Yeo has characterized this move as being one of the most vital initiatives for improving cost efficiency and productivity in the wake of diminishing international commodity prices. He maintains that the situation calls for an increased focus on improving yields in the areas where plantations already exist, rather than trying to expand planting efforts to a larger region.

This decision is considered to be a step forward towards better sustainability, particularly because Indonesia is a growing industrial country and the palm oil industry faces significant challenges, such as labor shortages and increased costs.

The New Generation Oil Palm Seedlings. The proposal for distributing a new generation of oil palm seedlings has been received with great interest at the Singapore Dialogue, particularly due to the remarkable potential for greater yields and increased profits.

Basically, we are looking at a widely increased level of land productivity in the next few years and the potential for a 200% increase in profits – owed largely to the years of research and development done by the Asian Agri Research Institute. The seedlings are to be planted in the place of older, aging palm trees, thus maintaining the possibility for a large enough harvest during the transition period,and the promise of a massive increase in yields for the next few years.

Asian Agri and Apical are both confident that this bold new move is a step in the right direction and it will continue to provide a foundation for expansion for the local palm oil industry.