Philippine: Large oil palm plantation not feasible in Paquibato

Sun Star | 14 July 2014
Peasant organisations in Davao City, the Phillipines are opposed to the government's attempts to provide foreign companies with local lands for oil palm plantations.

Large oil palm plantation not feasible in Paquibato

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

PAQUIBATO District in Davao City is not feasible for the Malaysian company that is planning to develop a 20,000-hectare property to an oil palm plantation.

Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC) officer-in-charge Ivan C. Cortez, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said the investor discovered that it is impossible for them to have a contiguous area of 10,000 hectares for oil palm plantation in the area after they conducted a site inspection earlier this month.

"Paquibato is only able to supply less than 5,000 hectares of contiguous land," he said.

But Cortez said Paquibato can still able to meet the required area needed by the investor, but in portions only.

He said they can still pursue with the project, but they have to develop separate areas and set up infrastructure that will connect these plantations.

"The monitoring of the plantation and to ensure its security will be difficult if the plantations are scattered," Cortez said.

He also said the lands in Paquibato are mostly steep slopes and will be difficult in transporting the fruits of the oil palm trees. One tree is able to produce 45 kilograms to 55 kilograms of fruits.

But Cortez pointed out that the investor has found a 10,000-hectare contiguous tract of land in Marilog District. He said the investors have yet to discuss matters with the chieftains who own the land wherein they eye to plant oil palms.

Last week, the investor conducted a site inspection in Marilog and Paquibato to look for a suitable area for their oil palm plantation.

Aside from this Malaysian investor, there is also another Malaysian investor who is planning to develop a 30,000-hectare oil palm plantation in Davao City.

Cortez also said that investors from Thailand and Singapore are also looking into Davao City for oil palm plantations. Local investors are also interested in investing here.
Original source: Sun Star

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