Wed, 20 Apr 2011


From: The Jakarta Globe
By Michael Taylor

The palm oil industry has gone bird crazy by drafting owls to combat the menace of rodent pests, hoping in the process to burnish its green credentials and save money.

Leading Southeast Asian producers of the vegetable oil have tried different pest control schemes over the years, from snakes to poisons, but the high success rate -- and low cost -- of owls has prompted more planters to turn to them for help in reducing damage.

Some even have designated “owl trainers” who tend the birds from when they are still in the shell. “We are using owls in our South Sumatra estates,” said Michael Kesuma, head of investor relations at Indonesian palm oil producer Sampoerna Agro, which has taken such pains to introduce the birds that houses have been built for them in some areas.

“In those problem areas, I personally have seen the results of having owls. At the bottom of the owl houses, which are on a trunk, you see rat or rodent bones -- they are doing their job.”
Malaysia and Indonesia account for more than 90 percent of the world’s supply of palm oil, while other smaller producing nations include Colombia, Benin, Kenya and Ghana. The edible oil, which originates from Africa, is used to make everything from biscuits to ice cream.

But according to the green group Deforestation Watch, crop losses caused by rats feeding on the palm fruit has been estimated to be around 5 percent of the oil yield. Enter the owl, usually a nocturnal bird of prey, which eats mainly small mammals like mice, voles and shrews -- prime palm oil pests.

Barn-owls, the breed most commonly used on palm plantations, have a large heart-shaped face but have suffered declines over the past fifty years due to intensive agricultural practices. They first appeared on palm plantations more than 20 years ago and have proved quite effective, palm associations say.

“[Plantations] say it’s cheaper because they can decrease costs by 50 percent compared with using chemicals,” said Chaerul Saleh, a biologist at WWF-Indonesia. “They are barn-owls ... they can eat three to five rats every day. It is using a natural predator.”

Indonesian palm oil producer BW Plantation (BWPT) says owls now save the firm about $300,000 each year that would otherwise have been spent on poisons.

“We have an owl trainer who takes care of our owls, starting from the egg until they mature and are then released into the field,” said Kelik Irwantono, corporate secretary at BWPT.

“When an owl egg is found, the owl trainer will monitor this and eventually take the young owl to be placed in our owl training camp,” added Irwantono. The firm introduced owls in 2009 and now has about 250 barn owls on its estates.

“After being released into the field, the owl is naturally free to control the rat population,” Irwantono said. And there’s an additional side benefit unseen with either snakes or poisons, palm associations said.

“Investors who visit our plantation all want to take an owl home with them,” said Sebastian Sharp, head of investor relations at BWPT. “They are very beautiful.”



News Search/Filter
Transaction Rates
15 Oct 18
Buy
Sell
AED1
4,143.74
4,143.74
AFN1
200.32
200.32
ALL1
140.57
140.57
AMD1
31.34
31.34
ANG1
8,577.48
8,577.48
AOA1
50.49
50.49
ARS1
414.45
414.45
AUD1
10,816.83
10,816.83
AWG1
8,455.49
8,455.49
AZN1
8,939.72
8,939.72
BAM1
9,142.46
9,142.46
BBD1
7,609.93
7,609.93
BDT1
181.79
181.79
BGN1
8,998.55
8,998.55
BHD1
40,370.69
40,370.69
BIF1
8.50
8.50
BMD1
15,219.87
15,219.87
BND1
10,792.64
10,792.64
BOB1
2,202.66
2,202.66
BRL1
4,026.19
4,026.19
BSD1
15,219.87
15,219.87
BTC1
97,625,714
97,625,714
BTN1
206.78
206.78
BWP1
1,426.04
1,426.04
BYN1
7,157.71
7,157.71
BZD1
7,574.97
7,574.97
CAD1
11,686.09
11,686.09
CDF1
9.36
9.36
CHF1
15,360.50
15,360.50
CLF1
607,628.35
607,628.35
CLP1
22.39
22.39
CNH1
2,197.88
2,197.88
CNY1
2,198.70
2,198.70
COP1
4.91
4.91
CRC1
25.62
25.62
CUC1
15,219.87
15,219.87
CUP1
591.06
591.06
CVE1
158.99
158.99
CZK1
681.54
681.54
DJF1
85.48
85.48
DKK1
2,356.48
2,356.48
DOP1
305.01
305.01
DZD1
128.61
128.61
EGP1
848.16
848.16
ERN1
1,014.33
1,014.33
ETB1
550.62
550.62
EUR1
17,579.86
17,579.86
FJD1
7,046.20
7,046.20
FKP1
19,942.60
19,942.60
GBP1
19,942.60
19,942.60
GEL1
6,219.83
6,219.83
GGP1
19,942.60
19,942.60
GHS1
3,123.42
3,123.42
GIP1
19,942.60
19,942.60
GMD1
307.78
307.78
GNF1
1.68
1.68
GTQ1
1,967.14
1,967.14
GYD1
72.77
72.77
HKD1
1,942.61
1,942.61
HNL1
632.05
632.05
HRK1
2,373.28
2,373.28
HTG1
218.09
218.09
HUF1
54.21
54.21
IDR1
1.00
1.00
ILS1
4,189.15
4,189.15
IMP1
19,942.60
19,942.60
INR1
206.54
206.54
IQD1
12.77
12.77
IRR1
0.35
0.35
ISK1
130.79
130.79
JEP1
19,942.60
19,942.60
JMD1
114.05
114.05
JOD1
21,451.27
21,451.27
JPY1
135.63
135.63
KES1
150.91
150.91
KGS1
222.05
222.05
KHR1
3.72
3.72
KMF1
35.73
35.73
KPW1
16.91
16.91
KRW1
13.44
13.44
KWD1
50,181.58
50,181.58
KYD1
18,269.84
18,269.84
KZT1
41.07
41.07
LAK1
1.78
1.78
LBP1
10.06
10.06
LKR1
89.71
89.71
LRD1
96.97
96.97
LSL1
1,047.42
1,047.42
LYD1
11,024.38
11,024.38
MAD1
1,610.93
1,610.93
MDL1
898.14
898.14
MGA1
4.30
4.30
MKD1
285.50
285.50
MMK1
9.53
9.53
MNT1
6.11
6.11
MOP1
1,886.43
1,886.43
MRO1
42.63
42.63
MRU1
423.95
423.95
MUR1
443.34
443.34
MVR1
985.09
985.09
MWK1
21.03
21.03
MXN1
806.06
806.06
MYR1
3,663.49
3,663.49
MZN1
251.56
251.56
NAD1
1,045.68
1,045.68
NGN1
41.92
41.92
NIO1
473.62
473.62
NOK1
1,862.20
1,862.20
NPR1
129.23
129.23
NZD1
9,893.52
9,893.52
OMR1
39,533.47
39,533.47
PAB1
15,219.87
15,219.87
PEN1
4,564.36
4,564.36
PGK1
4,534.22
4,534.22
PHP1
281.22
281.22
PKR1
114.36
114.36
PLN1
4,089.78
4,089.78
PYG1
2.56
2.56
QAR1
4,182.10
4,182.10
RON1
3,771.48
3,771.48
RSD1
148.77
148.77
RUB1
230.62
230.62
RWF1
17.37
17.37
SAR1
4,057.49
4,057.49
SBD1
1,917.31
1,917.31
SCR1
1,117.46
1,117.46
SDG1
597.54
597.54
SEK1
1,696.70
1,696.70
SGD1
11,039.35
11,039.35
SHP1
19,942.60
19,942.60
SLL1
1.81
1.81
SOS1
26.29
26.29
SRD1
2,040.74
2,040.74
SSP1
116.83
116.83
STD1
0.72
0.72
STN1
717.24
717.24
SVC1
1,740.02
1,740.02
SYP1
29.53
29.53
SZL1
1,045.68
1,045.68
THB1
464.87
464.87
TJS1
1,616.13
1,616.13
TMT1
4,348.55
4,348.55
TND1
5,354.77
5,354.77
TOP1
6,600.43
6,600.43
TRY1
2,581.78
2,581.78
TTD1
2,258.93
2,258.93
TWD1
492.43
492.43
TZS1
6.65
6.65
UAH1
545.28
545.28
UGX1
4.02
4.02
USD1
15,219.87
15,219.87
UYU1
461.75
461.75
UZS1
1.86
1.86
VEF1
0.06
0.06
VND1
0.65
0.65
VUV1
136.78
136.78
WST1
5,808.68
5,808.68
XAF1
26.80
26.80
XAG1
222,658.75
222,658.75
XAU1
18,557,881.06
18,557,881.06
XCD1
5,631.67
5,631.67
XDR1
21,285.46
21,285.46
XOF1
26.80
26.80
XPD1
16,254,298.56
16,254,298.56
XPF1
147.31
147.31
XPT1
12,776,926.62
12,776,926.62
YER1
60.79
60.79
ZAR1
1,046.53
1,046.53
ZMW1
1,245.41
1,245.41
ZWL1
47.21
47.21
Taxation Exchange Rates
31 Aug 16 - 06 Sep 16
USD 1
13,232.00
AUD 1
10,043.30
CAD 1
10,213.70
DKK 1
1,999.40
HKD 1
1,706.22
MYR 1
3,283.28
NZD 1
9,623.63
NOK 1
1,605.23
GBP 1
17,433.70
SGD 1
9,757.68
SEK 1
1,569.45
CHF 1
13,631.10
JPY 100
13,101.00
MMK 1
11.01
INR 1
197.29
KWD 1
43,920.70
PKR 1
126.23
PHP 1
285.00
SAR 1
3,528.53
LKR 1
91.12
THB 1
382.08
BND 1
9,756.53
EUR 1
14,885.50
CNY 1
1,987.61

Okusi Associates: Indonesian Business & Management Services