No profit, no bonus, Sarawak authority warns state oil palm farmers

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (right) with Salcra acting general manager Joseph Blandoi at the Salcra oil palm estate in Saribas January 5, 2020. — Picture courtesy of state Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (right) with Salcra acting general manager Joseph Blandoi at the Salcra oil palm estate in Saribas January 5, 2020. — Picture courtesy of state Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development

BETONG, Jan 5 — Management and field personnel of any oil palm estate belonging to the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) which do not make profits may not be receiving their year-end bonus, Salcra acting general manager Joseph Blandoi said.

He said this is one of the strategic thrusts which he plans to carry out to boost efficiency and maximise production of the Salcra oil palm estates this year.

“If any estate is not making any profit in a particular year, then all its management and field workers should not be receiving any bonus for that year,” he said at a gathering here last night after visiting the oil palm estate in Saribas.

“It does not look correct to me for them to enjoy the bonus when the participating Native Customary Rights landowners are not getting any dividend,” he added.

Blandoi also said he wants all field personnel to record the profits and losses incurred in their daily activities so that by the end of each month they will know if any estate is going to make a profit or loss.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas wants Salcra to push up its productivity to 20 tonnes per hectare from the overall average of 15 tonnes.

Uggah who is also chairman said one of the ways is to speed up the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) to boost productivity.

He said when productivity is high, it will be translated into good bonuses and dividends for workers and NCR landowners participating in the Salcra oil palm schemes.

“So work out a programme to make sure that productivity is pushed up to 20 tonnes per hectare. This are your Key Performance Indicators,” Uggah, who is also the state minister of agriculture, native land and regional development, said, adding that there are some areas already showing indications of achieving the target.

He said Salcra would need to study the issues causing the low productivity and should come up with recommendations to increase production.

Uggah said he wants Salcra to embrace more modern technology in its estate management, including the use of drones to identify suitable planting areas in difficult terrains.

“But we need the IoTs to monitor, at our fingertips, routines like the application of fertiliser, amount of running water, temperature and the effect of fertiliser on the plants,” he said.

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