KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 -- FGV Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) venture into banana clonal research seems to see results as it is set to fulfil an estimated 30 per cent of national consumption demand for the fruit by 2021, its group chief executive officer, Datuk Haris Fadzilah Hassan said.
He said FGV’s Innovation Centre in Bandar Enstek, Negeri Sembilan has been producing banana clone varieties since 2004, with production kicked off in 2007 to fulfil the demand for intercropping during oil palm replanting and banana farmers in the country.
It is now targetting one million banana clones in 2021, an increase of 100 per cent from the current production to cater to the niche market demand for fresh bananas and banana-based food industry.
The effort has enabled FGV to fulfil 30 per cent of the local consumption demand by 2021.
“This is in line with FGV’s strategic move to expand its Integrated Farming initiatives and at the same time increase local banana production with a target of 50 per cent market share or equivalent to 1.7 million seedlings by 2022 which will ultimately improve banana farmers’ livelihoods in Malaysia,” Haris added.
FGV’s high-quality banana clonal seedlings have been proven with over six million berangan banana ramets sold between 2007 to July 2020, making FGV one of the biggest producers of banana clonal seedlings in Malaysia, he revealed in a statement here, today.
Haris Fadzilah said with experienced and dedicated researchers in tissue culture production, technical advisory and nursery operation, FGV has the expertise to support the banana agropreneurs and smallholders with superior banana clonal seedlings, banana contract cloning and contract farming.
Banana has been identified to have the highest demand and is the most marketable cash crop in Malaysia, which can generate additional income for an oil palm plantation during the immature phase using the intercropping planting system.
The most banana variety in demand by local farmers is the berangan and FGV is currently producing 850,000 ramets annually. FGV’s mother plant of the berangan clone is certified by the Department of Agriculture under the Planting Material Validation Scheme.
The banana clonal seedlings produced by FGV are free of disease, have uniform growth and can produce early yield as compared to sucker planting material, he said.
FGV’s banana clonal seedlings, which include several varieties such as tanduk, lang, nipah, nangka, rastali, mas and lemak manis are available for bulk purchases in five nurseries and outlets in Bandar Enstek (Negeri Sembilan), Trolak (Perak), Jerantut (Pahang), Bukit Tongkat (Johor), and Lahad Datu (Sabah). The banana clonal seedlings are also sold online through Shopee under FGV Agri Services Sdn Bhd.
Following this success, FGV is now developing clonal planting material for other high-value crops such as pineapple, bamboo, vanilla and aquatic plant to fulfil high market demands.
Malaysia National News Agency
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