SDP bags Edi­son Award

New Straits Times - - Business -

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,

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