This is a testimonial story of Mr. Tew Han Kiong, who lived in Kampung Parit Khalid, Tg. Sembrong Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor. He had been a full-time oil palm smallholder since he was 20 years old. Together with his wife, Heather Lee Pei Ling, they raised their three children with the income generated from managing their oil palm business.
Mr. Tew managed a field size of 1.4 hectares that had a type of river silt soil series. He planted his field with Guthrie’s Dura X Pisifera (DXP) planting material in a triangular system with a distance of 9m x 9m x 9m, at 148 stands per hectare. The early stages of preparation were financed with his own working capital.
Mr. Tew implemented good management practices in his oil palm field based on the advice of Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s (MPOB) TUNAS officers. He kept proper field records, maintained a balanced fertilizer formulation program (applied MPOB F1 oil palm fertilizer at a rate of 8 kg/palm/year over 4 rounds) and made a joint harvesting and pruning rounds every 15 days.
By implementing this good management practices, Mr. Tew saw a gradual improvement in his oil palm yield and he had even been included as a member of MPOB’s 30 Ton Club since the end of 2008. In 2009 he also earned the highest record yield of 36 mt/hectare/year.
In addition to managing his own oil palm field, Mr. Tew and his family also generated extra income by helping the neighbouring fields in field maintenance and harvesting of oil palm fruit bunches. He also practised livestock integration with oil palm under a scheme launched by MPOB in 2009, which is designed to help the smallholders to improve their income.
Although Mr. Tew was very busy with his business activities, he was also actively involved in his community. He was a Rela committee member since the year 2004, a member of the Palm Oil Dealers Association and also a member of the Batu Pahat Golf and Country Club.
Mr. Tew appreciated and acknowledged the efforts of MPOB and their TUNAS officers who helped oil palm smallholders like himself to improve their knowledge and skills in oil palm management.
Contributed by: Hasmiza Desa (PTZ Selatan 2)
Condensed and translated from: Warta Sawit, Bil. 53 (1) Jan-Apr 2013, Page 19-20.