Implications of Delayed Replanting of Old Palms
Subject: Replanting, Replanting rate, Rush to replant
The national average fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yield was able to reach a record high of 22 t ha-1 yr-1 in the mid 1980s as planting oil palm during that period was mainly concentrated on highly suitable soils
Accelerated replanting of ageing and less productive palms has been identified under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) as a way forward to sustain the competitiveness of the Malaysian Palm oil supply chain towards attaining the National High Income targer. The increased proportion of old palms in the country, among other factors, has contibuted to the stagnation of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yield, which only averaged at 19.01 t ha-1 yr-1 over the last 20 years. Tha annual rate of oil palm replanting is rather slow at only 1.18%, which is attributed mainly to economic reasons, such as the prevailing higher FFB prices. This article, in highlighting the significance of replanting, the staggering accumulation of old and ageing palms, and the possible occurrence of a 'rush to replant', elucidates that there is a need for the industry to practice continued accelerated replanting at a rate of at least 155 000 ha yr-1.
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