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Malaysian Biotech Firm Ups Palm Oil Yield 30%


The Star. Malaysian conglomerate Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd has launched its first commercial clonal oil palm, ABB1, which has the potential to enhance production yields by 30% compared with current seedling materials.

Guthrie Biotech Laboratory, a wholly-owned subsidiary, produced the clonal oil palm.

While the most successful commercial oil palm oil plantations yield some six metric tons of oil per hectare, the Guthrie palms promise up to nine metric tons.

“Biotechnology is the only means to achieve maximum yield potential from oil palm without area expansion. Guthrie started the intensive biotech and research and development (R&D) more than eight years ago and we have had success in developing an efficient and commercially-viable clonal palm production system,” [GBLSB general manager Dr Hamidah Musa] said at the launching. [She] said that the company was gearing up for semi-commercial planting of AAB1 clonal plantlets in the first quarter of 2006 and was focusing on a downstream strategy to exploit innovative technologies in this field.

Palm oil is increasingly being looked to as a feedstock for biodiesel production, and some analysts are bullish on the market prospects for Malaysia.

Guthrie owns and operates 55 oil palm estates in Malaysia, totalling 104,749 hectares and 14 palm oil mills, with the bulk of the oil palm estates located in Peninsular Malaysia while three oil palm estates totalling 4,498 hectares are in Sabah.

In Indonesia, Guthrie owns and operates 53 plantation estates and 14 palm oil mills in Indonesia through PT Minamas Gemilang, PT Anugerah Sumbermakmur and PT Guthrie Pecconina Indonesia.


Rob McMillin

And thus do we (possibly) pass full circle, sort of. One reason synthetic rubber was invented was to rid the US of dependency on tropical rubber plantations in southeast Asia. Wouldn't it be ironic if the industrialized world were once more held thrall by the plantation owners of that part of the world?

Emmanuel M

Using palm oil for burning seems ridiculous when a ban on trans fats is coming soon to the western world and demand for palm oil, a naturally saturated fat with no trans fat, will increase beyond production capacity. It would make more sense to use for biodiesel all the vegetable oil that is currently hydrogenated to make Crisco.


No doubt the clones may do miracles, but how to beleive their performance with out conducting the multilocational trials in different areas. Can it be simply believed based on RFLP and RADP techniques?


where can i get this aab1 ?? where can i get it for my own
land????? can i get the graft of AAB1???

Christina Vimala

While it is good to notice the prospects of tissue culture clones, we should treat the problem at hand, Basal Stem Rot (BSR) Disease. I have noticed some 30-40 trees falling monthly due to the disease and worst, first year crops are increasingly becoming susceptible. Our biological control has been tried in 3 different estates and the results show an improvement in palm health (35% recovery from disease in 12 months) and currently annual yield data are being collected. Exposing infected root and/or mounding cannot arrest the spread this disease for long.


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