April 12 2005 - KUMPULAN Guthrie Bhd’s aggressive replanting programmewill bear full results in three years’ time when the younger oil palmtrees reach maturity.
Guthrie head of special projects, Abu Hanipah Abdul Wahid, said by 2008,the age profile of Guthrie’s oil palm trees especially in PeninsularMalaysia will be balanced.
He expects the company’s entire oil palm division to hit peak production,with costs lowered and return per hectare maximised.
Guthrie owns over 300,000ha of palm oil estates, of which 200,000ha areIndonesia’s Minamas Plantations.
"We embarked on a massive replanting exercise five years ago removing 4per cent a year from all planted area to make sure that by 2008 our oldtrees are removed so that we can achieve a good age profile."
Abu Hanipah said only 20 per cent of its estates are with trees agedbetween 19 and 25 while the remaining 80 per cent are young oil palmtrees.
Abu Hanipah said the company is now working hard on how to improve itsyield of fresh fruit bunches per hectare which includes measures such asmechanisation and the right application of fertilisers.
"Guthrie is looking seriously at how to manage its estates which arelocated in swamp areas because it cannot mechanise."
He said the company is also working hard to boost estate efficiency and ison track when it achieved a 20.6 oil extraction rate compared with theindustry standards of 19.7 per cent in Peninsular Malaysia.