The possibility of converting the town of Narra from being a first class municipality to a city can be realized thru development of oil palm industry says Camarul B. Osman, CEO of ALIF Agro Industrial Inc. – Philippines during the launching of Palawan Integrated Oil Palm Hub (PIOPH), Thursday, February 4, at the Provincial Capitol.
The Malaysian company has several pilot projects of around 5,000 hectares in different barangays of Narra which will open the door to the development of oil palm industry in Palawan says the investors.
Despite the attempts and failures to grow oil palm in the province many years ago, the project is again being pushed as Public-Private-Community partnership is being push through by the Palawan Palm Oil Industry Development Council represented by different stakeholders.
The launching of PIOPH is an outcome of Palawan Palm Oil Summit in September last year wherein palm oil has been highlighted as one of the highest yielding crops in the world, even far beyond coconut.
Palawan on the other hand was recognized as the “most-ready” location in the Philippines in terms of developing the said industry.
Based on research, out 350, 000 hectares “doable” in the country for oil palm and around 100, 000 hectares of it are in Palawan.
“If it will succeed, we will be putting Palawan again in the world map”, Osman added.
However, in that particular forum, there were members of oil palm growers in Southern Palawan who expressed dismay because their farms are not yet profitable up to this time contrary t what the private company promised to them. But there were also some farmers who expressed support to the new venture provided that they are assured of success together with new prospective oil palm growers.
Board Member Albert Rama, Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of Sangguniang Panlalawigan admitted that there were indeed some flaws in the industry before. However, he remains positive that the project is feasible. He stressed that with the past experiences of the oil pal industry in Palawan have taught lessons to learn on.
ALIF Philippines, a new oil palm company to venture in the province has expressed willingness to train more people, adopt the technology of Malaysia to ensure that it will succeed. It promised not to touch land with existing crops. They will only develop idle, denuded and non-productive land for oil palm.
The launching of oil palm hub in Palawan was attended by Vice. Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates in lieu of Gov. Jose Chavez Alvarez; Y.B Dato’ Wan Muhammad Khair-il Anuuar, Chairman of Malaysia Palm Oil Board; Judge Nagamura Moner, Director of ALIF Philippines; Narra Mayor Lucena Demaala, President of League of Municipalities; members of Palawan Palm Oil Industry Development Council; Oil Palm growers, and concerned stakeholders.