A new oil palm hybrid seed sprout, which is being imported by 3F Oil Palm from Malaysia and Costa Rica, promises to significantly change the oil palm yields in the country.

The company, which is among the top-3 palm oil producers in the country, said the new three-way crossed hybrid could bring down the yielding time to 24 months from 36 months. The long gestation period is one of the key entry barriers for farmers to take up the plantation.

As the country begins a mission to achieve self-reliance in the production of palm oil, 3F Oil Palm says it is planning to cover 5,000-7,500 hectares with the new hybrid saplings.

To begin with, the company distributed the saplings to farmers in Andhra Pradesh recently ahead of the 2022-23 planting season.

“We have entered into an agreement with a couple of players in Malaysia and Costa Rica. Under this agreement, our scientists worked with them to develop the seed sprouts that suit our weather conditions,” Sanjay Goenka, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Oil Palm Limited, told BusinessLine.

Among the new releases by the company is CALIX Q6, which is the first genetically tested seed produced in the oil palm market Sime Darby in Malaysia.

Besides offering yields in 24 months after planting, it reduces maintenance costs and increases yields. Also, it helps the plants withstand punishing summer temperatures and bouts of drought, he said.

Each hectare would require about 140 saplings, with each costing about ₹300.

“The yield per acre could go up to 17-18 tonnes an acre against the present yield of 10 tonnes,” Goenka said.

The company, which has an aggregate acreage of 33,000 hectares in different States, is planning to increase the acreage to 1.50 lakh hectares. “We will be adding new acreages every year to reach 1.50 lakh hectares over the next 5-7 years,” he said.

As it increases acreage, the company is also enhancing its processing capacities. “We are planning to double the processing capacity to 150 tonnes an hour in the next two years from the present capacity of 75 tonnes an hour,” he said.