Technological innovation to support oil palm planters’ productivity

The palm oil segment needs to mechanise and automate further to raise productivity, said Dr Shariman Alwani, who is head of system, innovation and renewables at Sime Darby Plantation Bhd.

“The global demand for palm is still there and our production continues to be strong. Fundamentally, the sector is strong.

“Right now, oil palm planters and palm oil exporters are working through some structural issues in terms of inventories and pricing,” said Shariman.

“Once all these structural issues are sorted out — partly by itself and via government policies such as the B10 biodiesel mandate — the outlook will be good,” he added.

Shariman was speaking to reporters at a seminar here today, mutually composed by AmInvestment Bank and stock market operator Bursa Malaysia.

On industry challenge, he recognized that oil palm yields had stagnated for over 10 years, at 19 percent crosswise over Malaysia and Indonesia.

He included this displayed open doors for agronomists and researchers to be progressively dedicated in raising productivity through use of digital technology over manual labour at the estates.