Cost of fertiliser for Terengganu oil plantations to drop by RM15mil

Terengganu Development Management (TDM), via its subsidiary, TDM Plantation Sdn Bhd (TDMP), aims to trim down operational cost between 10 and 15 per cent a year when it fully uses organic fertilizer.

Menteri Besar, Ahmad Said said TDMP had built a RM3.4 million bio-organic fertilizer plant in Sungai Tong, here.

“From now on, we can reduce our dependence on chemical fertilizers by 15 percent or cut down operational cost by about RM15 million a year.

“Previously, TDM spent between RM50 million and RM60 million as fertilizer cost for its oil palm estates a year,” he told reporters after opening the plant  and Infodesa, an activity centre, here today.

Ahmad said the initial production capacity of the plant, which started operations in June last year, was 2,000 metric tonnes a month or 24,000 metric tonnes a year.

For the moment, production of quality fertilizers from the plant was only sufficient for use in TDM-owned oil palm estates, he said.

The Menteri Besar said TDM planned to build another similar plant at Tayor Estate in Kemaman to offset the high operational cost this year. He, however, did not state the new plant’s construction cost.

On Medan Infodesa, Ahmad said the centre would be used to conduct professional courses on multimedia; to develop website application softwares; computer maintenance; and computer network. The centre was established in line with the Infodesa programme initiated by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry in efforts to address the problem of digital network divide between urban and rural communities, he added.

Meanwhile, TDM chairman, Roslan Awang Chik, who was present at the event, said TDM’s plantation division, which produces 25 per cent palm oil from Terengganu, manages 12 estates covering 32,879 hectares planted with oil palm.

To ensure the division’s sustained palm oil contribution, he said, TDM had acquired 25,000 hectares of the 40,000 hectares land package in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

“The land in Kalimantan is being developed in stages and of the total, 3,000 hectares were developed last year,” he added.