Monday, November 26, 2007

Wait before you decide to join in - look at this


Works To be done / Pre-requisites

1 It is important to have sufficient motivation, determination, foresight and family support, 4WD vehicle, MPOB book on palm oil planting for smallholders, commuting between town and farms, etc
2 Sufficient funds on average development cost for first 3 years is about RM3000 per acre
3 Look for or buy land with good accessibility and contiguous block where possible; and ready supply of labor in the area – the following works will then commence
4 Felling big trees – lump sum contract in my case RM5K for clearing 30 acres
5 Look for and hire excavator for 3-4 months use; you can hire it on monthly basis, hourly rate or even on contract basis eg RM800 per ha for stacking works
6 Constructing access road and culverts on the land –mandatory for efficient transport and transfer of farm materials seedlings, fertilizer and later fresh fruit bunches (ffb) ; rate RM40 per chain
7 Stacking – the trees and shrubs @RM800 per ha
-Alternatively you may burn the clearings but if it is rainy season and you are in hurry to plant - stacking is a must for you
8 Constructing terraces - Mandatory for hilly land and easier farm maintenance at later stage; RM30-35 per chain
9 Source for seedlings and transporting same to farm site
10 Source for fertilizer to be applied at base of plants
11 Marking planting points normally 60 plants per acre
12 Planting the young palms – look for palms having spent 12 – 18 months from a MPOB licensed nursery
13 Source for gravel and stone for access roads improvement
14 Apply fertilizer once everything 2 months unless you use controlled release fertilizer such as APEX type from US which permit manuring once every 6-8 months
15 Plant cover crops to prevent erosion if necessary
16 Getting people to “ngeracun rumput” once every 3-4 months
17 Inspection of the fields once every 2 months for rodden and animal attacks on the young plants – replace damage plants as appropriate; pests come in the form of squirrels, rats and porcupines as well as wild boars
18 After this you can relax a little while until the next – manuring and
ngeracun rumput season which is about 2-3 months later and periodically
19 Inspections and more – pray and wait for good harvest and returns!


• A farmer in ulu Niah earns as much as RM30,000 per months (ie 60 tonnes of ffb per month)
• Another farmer has less than 200 trees and yet earns about RM4000 per harvest cycle
• Some shopkeepers in Batu Niah are reported to sell shophouses as capital to buy land from natives and plant it with palm oil
• A farmer in Selangau earns about RM7000 per month from 560 trees
• Another farmer earns about RM2400 from less than 300 trees
• A young and well paid manager resigned from the port and planted 300 acres of palm oil transforming himself from an employee to become an employer
• Two practising lawyers from Bintulu planted 300 acres in between themselves
• An up and rising oil and gas company executive from Bintulu is in the process of planting about 40 ha of palm oil in Selangau
• One story has it: a farmer earns RM30,000 from 2000 trees of palm oil
• Every family in Niah is planting palm oil and abandon paddy and even pepper planting
• Soon to be retiring agriculture officer from Selangau is in the midst of planting in excess of 1000 trees of palm oil
• A retired company executive from ABF has planted 15 acres with palm oil.
• A safety officer and several firemen from Bintulu port are planting in between 400 – 1000 trees of palm oil each
• Based on these people experiences: one tree of matured palm tree can earn in between RM10 -20 per tree per month!


• This is an agricultural revolution spreading like wild fires in East Malaysia
• Turning idle land into valuable economic assets – earning additional money for you
• The venture is proven money spinning and why not join the bandwagon!
• Our children can eventually become estate managers in our own land and not merely earning degrees to become “some else employees” - unhappy/ underpaid in their jobs!
• Today fresh graduate engineers / doctors draw a monthly salary of between RM2000 – 3000 whilst an illiterate rural palm oil smallholders happily make RM7000 per month – and I ask myself why not join them?
• You may lure the BIG plantation companies into your area but NEVER surrender good accessibility NCR to them; instead allocate the distant / remote land in the interior to these companies and allow them access through your land.
• Why work on the basis of 60:30:10 profit sharing with the plantation companies if you have some money to start 100% your own farm venture?
• Renting out your land for RM0.50 per palm tree per month is chicken feed and not a solution either! You get RM300 per 10 acres per month in rent but the other party is making betw RM6000 – 12000 per month (ie you get betw 3 – 5% of the gross income while the other party is enjoying 95 – 97 % ); or if the rent is RM1 per tree per month you get a miserable 5 – 10 % and the other party gets 90 - 95%.
• If the palm oil industry crashed the capitalist will ran away from sight let alone pay you but if the price hit the ceiling or skyhigh – you’ll get to spend your time cursing the deal!
• In Selangau the lands were surrendered to plantation companies close to 10 years ago and yet NOT a single cent in bonus and dividend to landowners in sight! While several farmers in the area who have got guts and foresight are laughing their way to the bank with a gross monthly income of between RM2400 – 7000.
• Today ffb fetches RM500+ per tonne while your harvesting plus transporting ffb to mill cost RM70 per tonne – which means just simply shaking your legs you can still earn RM(500 – 70) = 430 gross income per tonne per month. Imagine if you have 20 tonnes per month – this will translate to additional RM8600 income per month.
• Alternatively if you have 1000 matured trees this have potential to bring in between RM10,000 – 20,000 gross income per month(ie at RM10-20 per tree per month).
• This - my friend are not stuffs made from wild dreams but proven financial returns from established smallholders present day record of achievement!
• Now place your bet before I throw out the dice..... thinking aloud: if you will forgive me afterall I am no expert and in fact trying my luck too!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

More MesraFarms in pictures

We brought along 20+ workers last friday and saturday to load young palm oil plants from Mukah 3 using 2 cargo lorries and send them to MesraFarms. One lorry carried 414 plants while another 477.

Pictures from MesraFarms field

Monday, November 5, 2007

Little story about myself - Part 4

Arriving in college the same day he reported to the authorities and checked into one the hostel. He made his way to Miri town for the first time to buy all the basic supplies including mattresses, pillow, blanket, plate, fork etc. He moved one step at a time, looked back and tried to remember how to get back to where he first started his stroll. Getting lost in a “big” town was the last thing he wanted to do. Perhaps because of his “I am new here and don’t belong to this place” walking style prompted one of the penjual ubat (drug peddler) to daringly nangkap his mosquito bitten hands. Inspecting the bites the peddler inquired his origin, married or single, employed or unemployed and when told that he was student prescribed certain tablet to cure his mosquito bites. At first the boy thought he was some government official or something and not until he was asked to pay a student rate for the medicine did he realized the man was in actual fact nothing more than one pushy and opportunistic seller preying on innocent and na├»ve souls. The boy thought of protesting and refusing to pay but the man got the better of him. He was scared, paid up the charge, turned “kaput” and made his way home to college.

It was sheer struggle to study seriously with little monetary support from home. Once or twice the boy would collect daun letop (wild vegetable causing food poisoning to some people) from the vicinity of the dormitory. When cooked dry fried style the leafy vegetable was quite a taste to hungry beings like him and his friends. During shrimps seasons the students would tie up one end of their sleeping sarong to catch shrimps (bubuk) in the beach. The shrimps were usually fried and eaten to supplement meal dishes or filled up hungry stomachs. More daring souls would lure a wild dog to their dormitory, killed and cooked it with fanciful ingredients. Those who dare - ate it creating quite an atmosphere of party time among them.

His stepmother (the one who actually raised him) died while he was preparing for his higher school certificate examinations. He was not informed of her death not until he went back home after completion of his studies in college. Two reasons were given for the decision: he would have had no money to go back home anyway; secondly the folks back home didn’t want the death to affect his studies. Imagine hardship and poverty prevented him from giving his last respect for her - someone whom he dearly loved!

Like others his age he was interested in one or two girls but with of all his semua nadai kemise – nadai gamal nadai duit ringgit nadai gari. His pursuit of admired girls remained futile and without any success. It turned out to be just cruel and wishful thought, which was simply unattainable for quite sometime. Luck finally smiled on him when his love letter to a girl in Lutong got some encouraging reply. They corresponded and this was follow up by several dates – just cheap dates. He could not afford her gifts, presents or decent dinner treats. Somehow the relationship clicked well and they became steady. That was in 1977 – his final year in college and she was in Form 5. Imagine how heartbroken they were when they had to go separate ways after his completion of Form 6. In spite of the separation they continue to maintain contact and distance failed miserably to neither extinguish nor dampen their love for each other.

He spent his post college days working as a temporary teacher at SMK Matu Daro for about 3 months while waiting for the outcome of his application for a place in the local university. The application was rejected on account of his not very good HSC examination results which he only managed to scrap through and the steep competition for places. He was so very frustrated upon receiving the news. Fortunately a telegram received two weeks later informed him as among the 2nd choice selected candidates. He quit his job and went back home pondering how to accept the offer when there was no money to support his further studies.

In the longhouse there was a bedara (miring) ceremony (asking for the blessing of the God). There were chipping in of tokens by everyone in the longhouse who could see that this was one boy who could one day become somebody big and famous! The boy got connected with one of the area boy who himself was a senior in the same university. The senior helped him to apply for his passport and convinced him with or without money the offer was to be made full used of. Application for a scholarship of bursary could be applied for once one was admitted to the university. In the first year he was offered accommodation in one of the colleges. From second until final year he stayed together a group of student at the rented flats outside the university.

Life in the university was difficult as he had little money to support himself. In one incident he asked and was given 10 bucks by his girlfriend. His friends had money to buy motorcycles, spent on food such as durian and even on girls. One day he was invited to eat durian by his friends but he decided against it, for far too often he depended on others kindness and generosity for some luxury and food but little to offer them in return. He locked himself inside his room instead and shed tears of pity and for his miserable and poor condition.