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FGV and KeyGene sign a MoC to start joint-lab for oil palm seed research

Felda Global Ventures Berhad (FGV) and KeyGene have announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) agreement to establish a strategic partnership to start a joint research laboratory (joint lab) in an effort to enable the faster introduction of improved oil palm varieties.

Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and KeyGene have signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) to start joint-lab for oil palm seed research (photo courtesy KeyGene).

Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and KeyGene have signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) to start joint-lab for oil palm seed research (photo courtesy KeyGene).

Malaysia-based Felda Global Ventures Berhad (FGV), the world’s largest producer of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and the third largest oil palm plantation operator, and Netherlands-headed crop innovation company KeyGene have announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) agreement to establish a strategic partnership to start a joint research laboratory (joint lab).

The research and development collaboration has multiple objectives but will primarily focus on the development and improvement of planting material through marker-assisted breeding. The collaboration will help FGV to fast-track the development and commercialization of oil palm planting material with high oil yield, disease tolerance, and other special traits.

– The agreement assures FGV access to KeyGene’s vast technology expertise in crop genomics. In turn, this will significantly increase our competitiveness in the oil palm seed market through the faster introduction of new and improved oil palm planting material, said Dato’ Zakaria Arshad, Group President and Chief Executive Officer of FGV in a statement.

With a market share of 42 percent, FGV is currently the largest seed producer in Malaysia. It is also the only authorized foreign company that is able to penetrate the highly competitive Indonesia seed market. The joint lab will empower FGV R&D to become a center of excellence by strengthening its research capabilities, enabling faster introduction of better and more sustainable oil palm varieties to the market.

– This collaboration brings benefit to FGV by increasing research capabilities in the molecular genetics research area leading to the development and production of superior oil palm planting material, said Dato’ Zakaria.The MoC tenure is eight months and upon mutual agreement by both parties to be supplemented by 5-year definitive agreement.

The MoC tenure is eight months and upon mutual agreement by both parties to be supplemented by 5-year definitive agreement.

– We are excited to embark on this strategic journey with FGV R&D to set up a joint lab. KeyGene will contribute with its know-how & expertise, benefitting from a successful track record of 27 years in providing innovative technologies. Together with FGV, we will breed for healthy and sustainable oil palm varieties that meet the future demands of our societies. Starting a joint lab will enable both parties to work together at each other’s location, enabling maximum interaction, knowledge sharing, and expertise building. This will lead to a better understanding of the needs which will be fulfilled in terms of capacity building, technology implementation, and the development of breeding and resource management tools for oil palm breeding, said Arjen van Tunen, CEO of KeyGene.

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