By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Philippines is close to securing the largest investment in the agriculture sector coming from a Malaysian firm, Alif Agro-Industrial, Inc., which is planning to expand its presence in the country and put up a palm tree plantation and oil refinery in Mindanao that could be worth US$1 billion.
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director-General Charito Plaza,, said Alif committed to invest as much as US$1 billion for a palm tree plantation and oil refinery in Agusan Del Sur.
She said Alif wants to plant palm trees in as much as 128,000 hectares of land in the province, covering three areas including municipalities of Rosario, Esperanza, and Bunawan.
“Actually, the company has been wanting to invest here since five years ago but it doesn’t know where to go until it learned about PEZA,” Plaza said in an interview.
Plaza said she will go to Malaysia next month to meet the executives of Alif.
“The company would want me to see their refinery of palm oil and plantations and to have a talk with the Philippine government on how we can help one another to realize a and implement fast this [investment opportunity],” she further said.
Alif currently has oil palm plantations in Palawan, Agusan del Norte, and North Cotabato.
It was earlier reported that Alif is also eyeing a 10,000-hectare oil palm plantation in Malungon, Sarangani.
Muhammad Kamarul Osman, the company’s president, met with Malungon Mayor Maria Theresa Constantino in August to convey his company’s intention to expand its palm oil plantation in Malungon town.
As a response, Constantino ordered concerned local government offices to assist the company in looking for areas within the locality that could be leased to Alif Agro.
Tags: Malaysian firm eyes $1-B investments in Mindanao palm oil plantation-refinery, manila bulletin, mb.com.ph, Mindanao palm oil plantation-refinery, palm oil, palm oil plantation-refinery, Philippine news