Agro plan needs careful planning

PETALING JAYA: Felda has welcomed the proposal by the Prime Minister for it to work with Risda and Felcra to set up a business consortium, but cautions that the move needs careful planning.

Felda chairman Tan Sri Dr Yusof Noor told StarBiz yesterday that a proper business model for the proposed consortium based on feedback from all three agencies would need to be thrashed out first.

“The call to pool resources can be considered the best move by the Government for the three agencies to maximise the returns from its respective plantation operations,” Yusof said.

He added that Felda was willing to work with Risda and Felcra particularly in the area of increasing the yield of oil palm and rubber crops in the country.

“Modern technology and research and development are needed to better position our government agencies to be able to be competitive at the international level,” he said.

Premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak had proposed on Sunday that the country’s three biggest agriculture agencies form a consortium to carry out various high-impact downstream activities.

He said he was confident that cooperation between Felda, Risda and Felcra could multiply profits for the three government agencies, besides eradicating poverty more effectively.

Najib said discussions to form the consortium would begin soon before the agencies put forward the joint-venture concept for implementation.

Risda director general Datuk Mohammad Izat Hassan said the three agencies, which are all tasked with improving the living standards of rural folks, would need to meet to look at areas of potential cooperation.

“The overall idea is to pool our resources and to derive synergy from our wide ranging agricultural related operations,” he told StarBiz when contacted yesterday.

He noted that Risda had already set up a business consortium with Felcra, together with other government agencies, to procure raw fertilisers.

Risda is primarily focused on the rubber industry, but has a growing acreage in oil palm.

Its sister agency Felcra owns seven palm oil mills in the country, apart from rubber and oil palm plantations.

Felda is probably the single largest oil palm planter in the world with an estimated 800,000ha of plantation land.

Felcra director general Datuk Mohd Nasir Baba was in a meeting and unavailable to comment on the matter. For latest Bursa Malaysia indices, charts and other information click here

For latest Bursa Malaysia indices, charts and other information click here

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