The plantation industry is constantly facing many challenges, for example, to increase productivity per unit area and per worker, cost optimisation, pursuing effective solutions in estate and mill operations, conservation and protection of the natural environment and of course to remain sustainable and competitive in the long term. In addition to these demanding issues, the industry today is faced with a new threat – the global Covid-19 pandemic. A large amount of global economic activity has suddenly collapsed in the discretionary sector and demand for palm oil and other commodities declined significantly in the first half of 2020 due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) and lockdown implemented around the world. However, prices for palm oil surged in the second half of 2020 due to supply shortages triggered by unfavourable weather, logistics issues and rising demand from China and India. Palm oil prices jumped in the first half of 2021 due to La Nina weather and expected to be firm in second half of 2021 due to rising demand and decline in production.
In its June 2021 Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank forecasts the global economy to expand by 5.6% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2022, driven largely by a few big economies. While there are welcome signs of global recovery, the pandemic continues to inflict poverty and inequality on people in developing countries around the world. However, growth in the East Asia region is projected to accelerate by 7.7% in 2021 and 5.3% in 2022, supported by higher demand and elevated commodity prices.
Therefore, in order to address some of these issues, The Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP) is organising its 15th ISP National Seminar 2022 (NATSEM 2022). The theme, “Addressing Challenges in Plantation Management” will set the direction for this thought-provoking discussion, to be held from 14 – 15 March 2022 in Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur.
This theme will highlight and address on diverse issues related to plantation management that shouldn’t be considered independent of each other, thus requires an integrated approach for maximum improvement. These issues include crop ecology and cropping systems, pest and disease management, land and soil management, mechanisation, sustainable agriculture, manpower, climate change, food safety and waste management. In addition, the entire plantation sector has to develop and adopt robust SOPs in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This seminar will benefit all those who seek to continuously improve and strengthen the plantation sector. When challenges within these criteria are answered, there will be improvement in terms of productivity. Throughout the two-day seminar with more than 400 participants expected, a trade exhibition with 45 booths will be held for participants to explore equipment and products related to the plantation industry. The seminar and exhibition outcomes among others are to build a network among industry players and create opportunities through various platforms for exchange of ideas and thoughts.
We’ve learned that addressing challenges in plantation management will be the answer to improve yield and productivity, produce safe and high-quality products and generate more income in the plantation sector in view of the limited land for crop cultivation and prevailing sluggish economic environment due to Covid-19 pandemic. We are confident that this seminar can identify the trends, issues and technological solutions that must be developed immediately to manage the future working environment in estates and mills and reroute the industry back to its glory days.
We bid you all a warm welcome