Development of Forest Plantation Programme
In an effort to reduce pressure on native forest as a source for raw materials and to ensure its continuous availability for the domestic timber industry, the Government is encouraging the development of large-scale commercial forest plantations. In line with this policy, the Cabinet, in March 2005 gave an important task to the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) to pursue an aggressive programme for the development of forest plantations in Malaysia.
Under this programme, the Ministry has targeted to develop 375,000 hectares of forest plantation at an annual planting rate of 25,000 hectares per year for the next 15 years. Once successfully implemented, every 25,000 hectares of land planted is expected to produce 5 million cubic meters of timber.
Out of the nine selected species, two major species related are Rubberwood (Timber Latex Clone) and Acacia spp. (mangium /hybrid). Other additional fast growing timber species recommended are Tectona grandis (Teak); Azadirachta excelsa (Sentang); Khaya spp. (Khaya ivorensis/Khaya senegalensis), Neolamarckia cadamba (Kelempayan/Laran); Paraserianthes falcataria (Batai), Octomeles sumatrana (Binuang) and Bamboo (five selected commercial bamboo species).
A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) known as Forest Plantation Development Sdn. Bhd. has been established by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) to manage the disbursement of soft loans, carry out auditing process of the plantation as well as to provide technical support and training for the programme. Local companies are eligible to participate in the Forest Plantation Development Programme. The financial facility extended by the government for eligible companies in the form of a soft loan.