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Johari Ghani: Felda should prioritise palm oil output over other commercial issues

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) must focus its efforts to increase palm oil production yields on its 800,000 hectares of land, instead of venturing into other business areas outside of its expertise.

Plantations and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said Felda should be looking into improving palm oil production, which he said needed significant reforms to be implemented.

“Felda should not look outside of the palm oil industry. We need to focus, and cannot be involved in too many things such as manufacturing sugar, owning hotels.

“It’s not that we cannot, but we should only be doing so when Felda is making money.”

He said this in a press conference after officiating the Felda Symposium in conjunction with the Bumiputera Economic Congress 2024.

Johari said Felda would face huge problems if it did not prioritise its core business, especially if the organisation still had debts.

“In the end, Felda would need to sell its hotels, and look for buyers for its sugar processing facilities.

“Those are not Felda’s expertise. They specialise in palm oil, and Felda has been proven to be an efficient manager of palm oil plantations.

“Felda was the first to start in the palm oil industry, but other companies came later and became champions… this is because we (Felda) did not focus on this industry,” he added.

He also said he hoped Felda would be able to maintain its annual palm oil production at 18 million metric tonnes per hectare, to emerge as one of the largest producers of palm oil in the country.

“Compared to other plantation company giants in the country, Felda is still falling behind.

“If Felda can achieve a yield of 18 million metric tonnes per year, with over 800,000 hectares of land, Felda can be the largest producer of crude palm oil in the country,” added Johari.

Also present was Felda chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

Source : NST BUSINESS TIMES

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