With 24 years of experience in Microbiology, amongst FGV’s leading R&D experts is Hamdan Ibrahim, Head of Research & Head of the Crop Protection Department, FGV R&D Sdn Bhd.

Hamdan has a degree and Master of Science from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Microbiology. Before joining FGV in 2011 as chief researcher, he worked at several other plantation companies and has dedicated himself to the field of palm oil.

Award-winning PalmaShield, which was launched in 2016, was one of his team’s major successes. A potent fungal-based bio control for controlling Ganoderma disease in palm trees. It was the result of years and detailed of study by the team, which benefitted not only FGV but the whole palm oil industry.

Ganoderma is fungal that causes basal stem rot disease in palm oil trees. About 4% or 60,000 hectares from the total of oil palm plantations in Malaysia have been attacked by Ganoderma with an estimated industry loss at about RM1.5 billion.

PalmaShield does not use any chemicals that can harm the environment and is in line with the Group’s commitment to implement sustainable practices in every business operations.

“The team I have today is my dream team. I am very proud to work with them at this R&D Centre and I am thankful to FGV for the trust given to lead the department and to design the product development strategy,” said Hamdan.

FGV has the only microorganism research centre in Malaysia with complete facilities ranging from laboratory tests, nursery and to commercial-scale testing in the field.

Hamdan believes in home-grown talents and skills. He said with good coordination, mentorship and support, local R&D teams can be at par with those in developed countries.