28/02/05 Philippines - TWO major palm oil companies in Mindanao havereportedly signified to develop Tantangan town in South Cotabato asexpansion area for African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) production, townofficials Monday said.
Tantangan Mayor Salvador Lagos Jr. said palm oil producers KenramIndustrial Development Inc. (Kidi) and Agusan Mill Corp. (Agumill) offeredto invest and help open up oil palm plantations in the area this year.
He said Kidi and Agumill executives made the offer during an oil palminvestment forum and seminar for local farmers held in the municipalitylast Tuesday.
"In terms of suitability, especially on the fertility and elevationrequirements, our municipality is reportedly a viable plantation area foroil palm," Lagos said.
Alfonso Villa, Tantangan information officer, said Kidi wants toimmediately begin the expansion project as they are reportedlyexperiencing a shortage of oil palm supplies for their milling operations.
He said Kidi, which is based in nearby Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat,needs to develop at least 5,000 hectares of fresh oil palm plantations inorder to cope up with the demands of their milling operations.
Kidi and Agumill, which maintain oil palm plantations in various parts ofMindanao, are two of the only three existing palm oil processors in thecountry.
Palm oil, aside from being an ingredient in making margarine andshortenings, is processed for use in the manufacture of soaps ordetergents.