15 November 2001 (Business Times) - Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) andIJM Plantations Sdn Bhd (IJMP) today signed a Memorandum of Understandingto explore prospects for joint research and development in the oil palmindustry.
The MoU will serve as an interim measure while both parties furtherexplore the prospects of a formal agreement in relation to projects whichwill be jointly developed.
It will also provide a framework through which both parties will jointlyformulate, establish and manage collaborative efforts.
UMS was represented by its vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Seri Dr AbuHassan Othman while IJMP group executive director Velayuthan Tan signed onbehalf of the company.
Deputy Primary Industries Minister Datuk Anifah Aman witnessed the signingat the UMS campus in Sepanggar Bay, near here.
Anifah said smart partnerships like this would encourage furtherdevelopment in the research of up-stream and down-stream palm oilproducts.
"The local oil palm industry will continue to face challenges from othercountries and global market forces. It is therefore necessary to formulatenew technologies," he said.
Anifah also said it was the Government's aim to turn the oil palm industryinto a "zero waste industry," based on the fact that 90 per cent of an oilpalm tree goes to waste.
"Palm oil constitutes 10 per cent of a tree. The rest which produces`biomass fibre' goes to waste. It is estimated if this biomass product isfully exploited, it can generate an income of between RM2 billion and RM4billion a year," he said.
Meanwhile, Abu Hassan said apart from research and development, the MoUwould also allow UMS students to carry out their practical training atIJMP for 10 weeks.