NST file picture shows FGV officer-in-charge Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz

KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) is optimistic about overcoming its estates’ labour shortage which could cost RM1 billion in losses to the plantation company.

FGV officer-in-charge Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz said the intensive programme carried out by it to overcome the shortage at its plantations has seen positive results.

“The programme is progressing smoothly and workers from Bangladesh and Indonesia have begun to arrive in stages this month to cover the current shortage of about 8,000 workers.

“To date, we have hired almost 600 foreign workers. God-willing, this labour shortage problem is being addressed immediately within the next few months. This is a top priority for FGV to ensure optimum production from our plantations,” he said.

Khairil said FGV will always ensure every entry process of its foreign workers is in compliance with both countries’ laws and policies.

“As a responsible company, we are also committed to the standards set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) on the employment hiring process,” he said.

FGV operates over 450,000 hectares of plantations across the country including Sabah and Sarawak.

The plantation sector contributes 70 percent towards the main source of FGV’s income, making it among the world’s major crude palm oil producers.

The effort to strengthen the plantation workforce would positively impact the company and maximise returns to its shareholders including Felda settlers.

Khairil said FGV is actively conducting research and development for the plantation sector especially in the areas of mechanisation to ease the workload and efficiency of day-to-day operations.

“Work undertaken by plantation workers is now assisted by mechanical equipment as well as high tech machineries compared to the past, thus, FGV is also actively promoting this career opportunity amongst locals,” he said.

FGV recently launched a nationwide recruitment drive to hire plantation workers.