Malaysia aims for high-tech palm oil industry, less foreign labour


ADOPTING new technologies to reduce reliance on foreign workers in the country’s palm oil industry is vital, says Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

During a visit to Sime Darby Plantation in Pulau Carey today, he highlighted the government’s goals and the company’s efforts in this direction.

“The technology being developed by Sime Darby Plantation aims to advance mechanisation technology with the goal of reducing the need for foreign labour in the future,” he said.

Johari commended that Sime Darby’s investments in technologies have improved its mechanisation, resulting in higher productivity per worker.

“Currently, for example, if we have 8ha of plantation, it requires one worker to manage. However, Sime Darby has increased this to one worker managing 12.5ha, which is higher than our current ratio,” he said.

He also stressed the importance of increasing yields through technology while minimising deforestation.

Johari said although the country aims to reduce reliance on foreign labour, they are still needed for certain tasks.

The minister also expressed his intention to have the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) adopt and promote some of the technologies developed by Sime Darby to other industry players.

Meanwhile, Johari also expressed the government’s support for successful start-ups introducing new technologies in the industry.

“The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of having start-ups that can introduce new technologies for industry players,” he said.