Malaysia-based palm oil company Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) and Indian agribusiness Godrej Agrovet Limited (GAVL) have formed a partnership to boost India’s role as a major vegetable oil producer.

As part of the partnership, SDP said it would supply high-quality oil palm seeds to GAVL’s oil palm business unit and set up a state-of-the-art seed production unit in India at a later date.

Under the agreement, SDP said it would provide India with 1.3M germinated seeds next year, sourced from its operations in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

The partnership would combine SDP’s research, development capabilities and proprietary knowledge with GAVL’s presence and expertise in the Indian Oil Palm Plantation (OPP) sector, SDP said on 28 September.

“Together, we aim to address gaps in India’s vegetable oil industry, supply the seeds they need and strengthen its position in the global market,” SDP’s group managing director Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha said.

“Innovation and sustainability are at the core of our partnership. We aim to deliver tangible benefits to Indian farmers while supporting India’s journey towards self-reliance in vegetable oil production.”

As part of the agreement, SDP said the companies would also look at working together on other projects.

GAVL chairman and non-executive director Nadir Godrej said the collaboration complemented the company’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and its plan to contribute to India’s self-reliance in vegetable oil production.

“By combining our strengths with SDP’s expertise in seed supply and research, we aim to … provide farmers with high-quality planting materials and help meet the country’s growing demand for edible oils,” he added.

GAVL is part of diversified Indian conglomerate the Godrej Group, which has 1.1bn global consumers across a range of sectors, including consumer goods, real estate, appliances, agriculture.

Sime Darby Plantation is a leading producer of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), with a production of 1.887M tonnes (as of 31 December 2022).

India is the world’s largest importer and second largest consumer of palm oil.