FGV scouts for land in Asean, Africa

Business Times | 14 August 2013

FGV scouts for land in Asean, Africa

By Zaidi Isham Ismail

FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is scouting for oil palm land in the Asean region, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The planter is banking on new acquisitions to help it become one of the world’s top 10 integrated agribusiness companies.

Newly-appointed president and chief executive officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said the company is reviewing several merger and acquisition proposals.

The initial plan is to go upstream and Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia remain the prime destinations.

“Once the Asean expansion is in place, we will explore West Africa for upstream oil palm operations,” he told Business Times recently.

Mohd Emir added that FGV’s team in Cameroon and Nigeria are identifying suitable locations for oil palm plantations.

“FGV aims to implement and replicate the successful Felda scheme model in West Africa, Myanmar and Cambodia,” he said.

“We also hope to share our experience in eradicating poverty so that the poor can have a steady income cultivating oil palm and rubber,” said Mohd Emir.

He said Indonesia remains an attractive destination for FGV, adding that it is now planting oil palm on 15,000ha of greenfield land in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

Mohd Emir added that FGV is also keen to acquire more raw land and brownfield plantations in Indonesia, partly to address its old palm tree profile in Malaysia.

“Apart from beefing up our upstream operations, FGV is also looking at boosting its downstream operations to protect the upstream operations, which are exposed to the volatility of crude
palm oil (CPO) prices.”

He said although the bulk of its RM10.4 billion initial public offering (IPO) proceeds will be used to buy land, FGV is also developing its downstream operations in Malaysia and overseas.

Mohd Emir said part of the proceeds will go into downstream business, such as building more palm oil mills and refineries overseas.

“Even though the downstream operations are very challenging right now, we need to build up the downstream business to help protect and support our diversified upstream operations,” he

Currently, Felda Holdings’ subsidiary, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, has been marketing its Saji brand of cooking oil in Myanmar, which has been receiving good response.

Another joint venture in Myanmar is to build a RM20 million cooking oil packaging plant near Yangon, which is slated for operations this year.

FGV produces 10 per cent, or three million tonnes, of the world’s CPO. It owns 343,521ha of oil palm plantations and manages 500,000ha more for Malaysia’s 112,635 smallholders.

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