SARAWAK and Sabah are potential sites for oil palm plantations but unfortunately face the serious threat of plant diseases, especially the
Ganoderma Basal Stem Rot (BSR) disease.
East Malaysia Planters Association (EMPA) management committee chairman Ismail Mustapha said that
BSR, also known as oil palm cancer, seriously threatened the industry
and warranted more aggressive approaches to find a solution.
The disease is caused by the Ganoderma bracket fungus which is lethal and been incurable for more than 50 years now.
During replanting, if oil palm trunks are left to rot, various Ganoderma fruiting bodies may be produced and thrive.
is fast becoming a major threat to oil palm cultivation and palm oil
production in Malaysia because it is difficult to control.
Ismail, who is also Sarawak Plantation Bhd operations controller, told a EMPA seminar on Pest and Diseases of Oil Palm that Ganoderma BSR had been causing significant losses to plantation owners in the two states.
Some 100 participants, both EMPA members and non-members, attended the seminar.
seminar’s objective was for EMPA members to share their knowledge,
experiences and ideas beneficial to the plantation and agro-business
Since its establishment in 1989, EMPA had undertaken
research and development projects to find ways to improve the plantation
industry in Sarawak and Sabah, said Ismail.
more players in the oil palm, plantation and agro-business industries in
Sarawak to set up joint ventures to benefit from the collaboration,
initiatives and EMPA’s programmes,” he added.
He advised oil palm plantation owners to be prudent in management despite the increases in crude palm oil prices.
the price increase has benefited many members, plantation owners should
be aware as there is also an unwelcome increase in operating costs and
“It is important of estate companies to ensure that costs and expenses are kept in check,” he added.