SDP bags Edison Award
KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) has been accorded the coveted Edison Award for its genome initiative to develop oil palms with higher yields, thus reducing the need for more agricultural land.
The world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil won the Bronze Award under the Energy and Sustainability Category of the 2017 Edison Awards for developing the Genome Select Oil Palm.
SDP managing director Datuk Franki Anthony Dass accepted the award at a ceremony in New York recently.
The company was chosen as among the best out of 400 nominations received from around the globe by 3,000 panellists, comprising the world’s top senior business executives, academics and innovation professionals.
“This award is a testament of SDP’s passion and pursuit of continuous improvement in sustainable plantation practices. Essentially, this has been one of the raisons d’etre of our foray into the oil palm genome research, which made the Genome Select Oil Palm planting material a reality,” said Franki.
In 2009, SDP was the first in the world to successfully sequence, assemble and annotate the 1.8 billion chemical units that make up the genetic code of the oil palm.
“With the potential to produce at least 15 per cent more oil than SDP’s current best planting material (Calix 600), the Genome Select Oil Palm will enable the company to significantly produce higher oil yields, equivalent to 50,000ha of new land, without having to increase our planted hectarage,” he said.
SDP is committed to increasing yields and also minimising green and brown field expansions.
“We are using this technology to develop the next generation of palms that are tolerant to drought and can be harvested more efficiently,” Franki added.
The Edison Awards honour excellence in innovation, new product and service development, as well as marketing and design.
Organised by Edison Universe, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering future innovators,