InfoSAWIT, KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysian company is developing a tool to harvest fresh fruit bunch in palm oil plantations to accelerate mechanism in the industry which needs strong physic in the cultivation namely in Malaysia for having lack of workers.
CPO – the vegetable oil which the world consumes the most – is in the lowest production in the last five years in Malaysia after border shut down and freezing foreign worker recruitment because of Covid-19 pandemic by the Government of Malaysia. The smallholders should let their FFB get rotten when it gets more expensive and even hit the score.
The lack of workers encourages to make harvester and ‘smart’ automatic device that has lower digitalization level in palm oil plantation than others in other industries.
Girish Ramachandran, a founder of IRGA – precision agricultural solution provider in Kuala Lumpur said, technology could minimize dependence of foreign workers in Malaysia by making this sector more interesting to the local.
The machine called "HARVi" is the first tool FFB cutter within digital artificial intelligence and software to precision harvester. “Digital sensor can detect the location of worker and trees and if the worker is cutting FFB or leaves,” Girish said, as quoted from Bloomberg.
This will deliver bigger transparency in supply chain when international world demands environmental governance in palm oil industry. “Process of information from plantation to the mill is still not much. People should manually process everything and cannot be traceable,” he said.
Mechanism in palm oil industry slowly develops because it is difficult and dangerous sector. Not like rapeseed or soybean, palm oil tree is as tall as human’s waist when it is planting in flat land and harvester machine is good to the location but the cultivation would be difficult if the plantations are in hilly areas in Malaysia and Indonesia. (T2)