Biology and Sustainability


Field Clinic on Pests and Diseases of Oil Palm on Peat
22 – 23 April 2015
Imperial Hotel, Miri, Sarawak

The International Society of Oil Palm Agronomists (ISOPA), Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (SOPPOA) had jointly organised this field clinic which was held on 22 to 23 April 2015 in Miri, Sarawak. The event started off with a half-day seminar at Imperial Hotel, followed by field visits to Lambir, Taniku and Kuala Baram Estates, Miri, Sarawak. The field clinic was aimed to create awareness on the detection, control and management of oil palm pests and diseases (P&D) in oil palm.

Dr Idris Abu Seman, the Director of Biology and Sustainability Research Division, MPOB cum the President of ISOPA, officiated the opening of the field clinic. He mentioned that the field clinic acts as a strategic platform for interaction and exchange of information to increase awareness on the importance of managing and controlling oil palm pests and diseases effectively. This would also provide opportunities for speakers and participants to share experiences among themselves.

This event successfully attracted 84 participants from companies and institutions who have strong commitments in effective management of oil palm on peat.

The field clinic was divided into two sessions:
      i) A half-day seminar
         A total of five papers were presented by the invited speakers during the half-day seminar.
      ii) Field visit
         The participants were taken to Lambir, Taniku and Kuala Baram Estates to experience in-situ management
         of pests and diseases.

Welcome remarks by Dr Norman Kamarudin, the President of ISOPA 2012

Speakers that presented at the first session of half day seminar (from left to right): Dr Agus Susanto, Dr Idris Abu Seman, Mr Chua Kian Hong and the session chairman, Mr Sylvester Fong

Speakers that presented at the second session of half day seminar (from left to right): En Zulkefli Masijan, Mr Su Chong Ming and the session chairman, Dr Zulkifli Hashim

Question & Answer Sessions

On the first day visit at Lambir Estate, various control practices for Ganoderma disease were demonstrated such as deboling and stump treatment; trunk injection and the application of GanoEF as an early prevention for Ganoderma attack.

Field demo on Ganoderma control practices

Early in the morning of the second day, the participants were taken to Taniku Estate. They were shown the breeding grounds of termite and Tirathaba, as well as familiarizing with the symptoms of their attacks under actual field condition. There were also exhibits of the pests at different stages of their life-cycle. Participants were briefed on the census method to control the spread of the pests and followed by the demonstrations on the application of soil injection and insecticides spraying to control termite and Tirathaba respectively.

Field demo on termite breeding grounds (left) and control practices (right).

Field demo on Tirathaba breeding grounds and control practices (left).
The caterpillar of Tirathaba is shown crawling on the oil palm male spikelet (right).

In the afternoon, participants were taken to Kuala Baram Estate where they witnessed the compaction of the peat and construction of a water gate for best management practice (BMP) to overcome the termite infestation. Participants also visited the high yielding field site where the FFB production reached up to 23.4 Mt/ha/year in 2014.

Field demo on soil compaction and construction of water gate

Field visit to high yielding site at Kuala Baram Estate

In general, participants expressed their appreciation and commended that this field clinic had benefited them with new knowledge and information.

Participants of Field Clinic on Pests and Diseases of Oil Palm on Peat