The Pahang Skills Development Centre (Pahang Skills) will venture into the oil palm plantation sector beginning next year, as an alternative to generating income other than from its technical and industrial areas.
Its chairman, Datuk Mas’ut Awang Samah, said Pahang Skills had 331ha of plantation land in Sungai Charu, Mukim Ulu Kuantan here, that could be cultivated for the purpose.
“We are waiting for the forest exemption certificate from the State Forest Office and the estimated cost of developing the land was about RM6mil and profit returns will be reaped between 11 and 15 years.
“This is a long-term plan to ensure Pahang Skills’ sound financial position in the future. To ensure the success of this project, Pahang Skills is working with the Pahang Agriculture Development Authority (LKPP),” he said.
Mas’ut was speaking at a press conference after attending the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pahang Skills with 12 Strategic Partners at the Pahang Skills Main Hall here.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by state Human Resource, Youth, Sports and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Hussain. Also present was Pahang Skills executive director Suris Mihat.
Mas’ut said the decision to get into oil palm cultivation was after taking into consideration that it was the most prominent agricultural crop besides rubber.
“We also see palm oil yield is better than rubber yield and its price its expected to increase in the coming years to strengthen Pahang Skills’ financial position,” he said.
Mas’ut added that the long-term plan should start now as Pahang Skills had been ranked as the top three of the 12 skills development centres in the country, and the best among the east coast states.
He said Pahang Skills has also acquired eight hectares of land in Semambu, for among other things, the construction of an administrative building and student hostel within the next three years.
Commenting on the MoU, Mas’ut said it involved cooperation between Pahang Skills with state governments and government agencies as well as industries and private companies.
“The MoU includes cooperation in technical expertise, innovation and quality training, provision of training facilities and seminars as well as professional courses,” he said.
Mas’ut said the MoU was also to enhance Pahang Skills as a skills training organisation that offers relevant technical and professional training skills in line with current trends.