Petaling Jaya, 28 September 2023 - Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) and Godrej Agrovet Limited (GAVL) today announced a significant milestone in their commitment to agricultural innovation and sustainable food production.
Both companies have signed an agreement marking a pivotal step towards enhancing India's role as a major vegetable oil producing country.
Under this landmark partnership, SDP will supply high-quality oil palm seeds to GAVL’s Oil Palm Business Unit and later set up a state-of-the-art seed production unit in India. As part of this agreement, SDP and GAVL will also explore other possible collaborations that will bring mutual benefits to both companies.
In 2024, SDP will provide India with 1.3 million germinated seeds, sourced from its operations in three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.
This endeavour combines SDP's cutting-edge research, development capabilities and proprietary knowledge with GAVL’s strong presence and expertise in the Indian Oil Palm Plantation (OPP) sector.
The collaboration highlights SDP's dedication to exchanging expertise in the realm of sustainable agriculture, said SDP’s Group Managing Director (GMD) Datuk Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha.
"Together, we aim to address gaps in India's vegetable oil industry, supply the seeds they need and strengthen its position in the global market. We are thrilled to embark on this transformative journey with them.
“Innovation and sustainability are at the core of our partnership. We aim to deliver tangible benefits to Indian farmers while supporting India's journey towards self-reliance in vegetable oil production," he said.
Commenting on this transformative journey with SDP, Nadir Godrej, GAVL’s Chairman and Non-Executive Director said that this strategic collaboration aligns perfectly with their commitment to sustainable agriculture and their mission to contribute to India's self-reliance in vegetable oil production.
“By combining our strengths with SDP's expertise in seed supply and research, we aim to revolutionise the Indian OPP landscape, provide farmers with high-quality planting materials, and help meet the country's growing demand for edible oils.
“Together, we look forward to making a lasting positive impact on India's food security and sustainable agricultural practices,” he added.
Vegetable oil remains a major commodity that is imported by India, reflecting the country's substantial demand for edible oils for cooking and food preparation across its diverse cuisines.
India is the world’s largest importer and the 2nd largest consumer of Palm Oil. With the local production of 300,000 tons, the country currently imports 7,500,000 tons.
Palm oil is one of the most productive vegetable oils in terms of yield per hectare of land. It is 5-8 times more productive as compared to other oil crops. It is also known for its high oil extraction efficiency from the palm fruit, making it a highly efficient source of vegetable oil when compared to other oil crops such as soybean, sunflower, or rapeseed. This high productivity is one of the reasons why palm oil has become a major ingredient in various food products, cosmetics, and industrial applications.
Palm olein has proven health benefits through its stability and lower absorption during food preparation. In addition, palm fruit has also been shown to contain other beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that can be harnessed for improving wellbeing.
Sime Darby Plantation is the world's largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), with a production of 1.887 million MT (as of 31 December 2022).
GAVL, an Indian company, has more than 30 years of experience in the oil palm business and has been working with and educating farmers on best sustainable practices of oil palm. The company aims to expand the acreage to 125,000 hectares by 2027 from the existing area of 65,000 hectares. GAVL is a diversified, Research & Development focused food and agri-business conglomerate, dedicated to improving the productivity of Indian farmers by innovating products and services that sustainably increase crop and livestock yields.
GAVL is a part of the diversified Indian conglomerate the Godrej Group, which has 1.1 billion global consumers across diverse sectors, including consumer goods, real estate, appliances, agriculture, and more.
Through this collaboration, SDP will also provide advice on ensuring that only high-quality planting materials with high performance under similar climatic conditions are field planted by conducting appropriate culling and nursery husbandry practises.
Together, SDP and GAVL are poised to make a meaningful impact on India's journey towards self-sufficiency in vegetable oil production. For more information about SDP and GAVL, please visit www.simedarbyplantation.com and www.godrejagrovet.com.