The Philippine province of Davao Oriental is looking to establish a new palm oil plantation and two mills in a bid to become one of the leading suppliers of palm oil on the island of Mindanao.

Funding for the development of the 5,000ha allotted to palm oil production in the municipality of Cateel would come from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which had agreed to loan 500M peso (US$9.62M) for the establishment of the mills and 1.1bn peso (US$21.1M) for planting and maintaining the palms, said SunStar Davao newspaper on 10 April.

Ednar Dayanghirang, chief of staff of the provincial governor Nelson Dayanghirang, said DBP was happy to provide the loan due to it having previously provided funding for three other successful palm oil programmes in Mindanao.

This project would be carried out in collaboration between the provincial government of Davao Oriental, vice president of Davao Oriental State College Roy Ponce and an unnamed Chinese-Malaysian palm oil expert, according to SunStar Davao.

Dayanghirang said two types of palm oil mills would be established in Cateel, including one crude oil mill, funded by the DBP loan, and one refinery mill for which additional budget was still pending.

“The new technology allows us to put together the crude palm oil and refinery mills on the 5,000ha. We will now be able to supply the Mindanao market with palm oil,” Dayanghirang said.

He added that Mindanao currently imported approximately 80% of its palm oil consumption.

Dayanhirang expected a formal agreement for the establishment of the plantation and the mills to be signed in April, while a feasibility study on the project would be reviewed by May.