Petaling Jaya, 8 November 2023 - GenomeSelect™, the super high-yielding oil palm seed from Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP), is now commercially available in the market.
To kickstart the adoption of GenomeSelect™ within the industry, SDP offered selected valued partners the opportunity to purchase it at only RM5.50 per seed. 180,000 seeds have been sold to six (6) customers so far and any further commitment to purchase GenomeSelect™ seeds during the launch, was honoured at the same price.
This early adoption pricing is designed to incentivise and reward SDP’s pioneering partners who are keen to embrace this transformative technology.
Following the initial launch period, the price will be adjusted to RM6 per seed until the full allocation of 300,000 seeds is subscribed. Subsequently, sales for the year 2025 will commence. The seeds can be purchased through SDP’s subsidiary, Sime Darby Plantation Seeds & Agricultural Services Sdn Bhd.
GenomeSelect™, a superior planting material in terms of yield per hectare, is a culmination of SDP’s pioneering research into oil palm genomics since 2007. SDP’s R&D team was recognised for this groundbreaking work to significantly increase potential yield sustainably when it was awarded the distinguished Edison Award in 2017 under the Energy & Sustainability category. SDP is the first and only Malaysian company to have received the prestigious accolade.
In 2019, the commercial harvesting of GenomeSelect™ oil palms that were planted three years earlier demonstrated a remarkable 20% increase in yield compared to the calixQ6TM, SDP’s previous best planting material. GenomeSelect™ oil palm planted in 2018 also yielded 10% - 34% more oil per hectare across coastal, inland, and basaltic soils in SDP’s operations in Malaysia in 2021 – 2022.
According to SDP’s Group Managing Director, Datuk Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha, SDP will have sufficient GenomeSelect™ seeds for its entire replanting needs by 2026. With the seed’s track record and yield potential clearly mapped in its plantations, Mohamad Helmy said SDP is now ready to offer the super-charged seeds to other producers in the industry.
“Sixteen years after we started working on the oil palm genome, we have arrived at this momentous day, the opportunity to see a step-change in yield for the industry, within our grasp.
“We published our genome research three years ago to help others use the knowledge available to increase oil palm yield substantially on existing land. By offering the seeds for sale, we are making it even easier for our industry colleagues to increase yield on their existing landbank.
"Planting and replanting are only done once in every 25 years. It goes without saying that you cannot get this wrong and the best seeds must be used. This is what GenomeSelect™ can offer," said Mohamad Helmy.
In 2020, SDP published its oil palm genome research to help the industry accelerate efforts to produce significantly more palm oil without causing further deforestation.
SDP has set a bold target to double its commercial yields by 2050. As a step towards that, the planting of GenomeSelect™ across all its Malaysian plantations over the next 15 to 20 years is projected to yield an additional 300,000 tonnes of palm oil per year. This can directly cater to the nutritional needs of over 15 million individuals.
From 2025 onwards, SDP will continue to scale up production of the GenomeSelect™. This is to ensure consistent supply of the seeds for interested customers.
The launch of GenomeSelect™ took place on sidelines of the prestigious International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition 2023 (PIPOC 2023), yesterday.
Leveraging on cutting-edge technology and genomic research to produce its super-charged seeds, SDP is actively engaged in the development of new planting varieties that will boost yield, reduce labour requirements, and exhibit robust tolerance to the challenges posed by climate change. Several palm varieties are currently in large-scale trials before commercial release in the future.