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Kenaf Venture Global to put up $100M investment in PHL as the company expands in Southeast Asia

Jazman Shahar Abdollah, group chief executive officer and co-founder of KVG, Malaysia

Kenaf Global Venture Sdn. Bhd. Bhd. (KVG), a leading private kenaf planter in Malaysia with kenaf plantation as well as a fibre and core processing line, has committed $100 million to a project in the Philippines that will provide 300 local jobs while also having a positive impact on society and the international community. As Malaysia’s largest private kenaf planter, the company ensures that their produce is of the highest quality. KVG quickly enters our area of expertise, aided by the group of companies.

KVG is more than a business; it is a social enterprise with the goal of positively impacting society and the global nation as well as the economy. As such, kenaf is a crop that has the potential to provide a solution to the universal concern of sustainability. Its adaptability includes its ability to function in the circular economy practice as well as its incorporation into various sectors. Nonetheless, kenaf has many more advantages than those listed. As a result, KVG is convinced that kenaf should be cultivated for more than its harvest – the values that it can instill in the global nation.

Kenaf, the new sustainability rock star

Climate change and global warming have resulted from the overexploitation of natural resources required for economic growth and development. Unfortunately, overexploitation has reduced the availability and cost of these resources.

Growing the Kenaf plant has proven to be a successful means of achieving sustainability and alleviating forest cover shortages in Malaysia. The Kenaf plant, scientifically known as Hibiscus cannabinus L, is used to produce a variety of eco-friendly materials that most of us are already using unknowingly.

Kenaf is grown for its fibre in India, Bangladesh, the United States of America, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Viet Nam, Thailand, parts of Africa, and, to a lesser extent, southeast Europe, and will soon be seen in Philippine farmlands. The stems produce two types of fibre: bast fibre in the outer layer and finer fibre in the core. Ropes are made from bast fibres.

Apart from its tensile strength, kenaf is also recognised for its short period for maturity – approximately 100 days. Hence, kenaf is practical to produce at least 2 cycles per year which promises constant supply throughout the year. Another distinctive characteristic that is exclusive to kenaf is that it is able to grow in a high-density carbon cultivation area and converts it to oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. Subsequently, it contributes to the reduction of carbon footprint in the cultivation area and a healthier environment with increased oxygen level.

From paper to furniture, biofuel and textiles, Kenaf has been grown for over 3,000 years and can be harvested in just four to five months, alleviating the shortage of forest based raw materials and countering deforestation.

Leading the local kenaf market into the global spotlight headed by its CEO and Co-Founder Jazman Shahar Abdollah

Currently, Kenaf is fast becoming Malaysia’s third industrial crop next to palm oil and rubber, and this green revolution is being spearheaded by Kenaf Venture Global (KVG).  KVG is a private firm headed by its CEO and Co-Founder Jazman Shahar Abdollah and is supported by the Malaysian government.

According to Jazman, they have already identified the location of the kenaf plantation they’ll be growing and cultivate the crops, as part of their exploration and expansion across Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

KVG initiative to develop kenaf to be a future global commodity through the employment of advanced machinery, concurrently an initiative in moving towards Industrial Revolution for agriculture; producing kenaf on a large scale to answer to the demand.

“We are resilient in venturing and exploring an uncharted future commodity to serve the nation and the environment,” said Jazman.

KVG is now progressively working on producing kenaf on greater mass to also offer economic and environmental growth through carbon trading – business can still operate despite its nature in causing pollution to the environment, KVG is ready to offer carbon credit to ensure the economic growth is up and running, simultaneously ensuring the carbon footprint level is observed. Kenaf is known for its versatility in its application in various different industries, so the demand is on rise and unaffected by any political climate.

Jazman also stated that the Philippines was chosen due to common factors such as vision and mission when it comes to environmental and sustainability goals, as well as the rich soil ideal for kenaf cultivation.

An awardee for CSR undertaken by his company for their work with the United Nations Office for Disaster and Risk Reduction to rehabilitate refugees made homeless by war in their homelands, Jazman is a humble man, a thorough businessman heralding the era of a crop so utilitarian and sustainable that it has the potential to change the way we think about housing, real estate, and much more. What distinguishes him is his worldview and sensibility, which represent a new breed of leaders and entrepreneurs who look beyond the transactional.

Beyond business, KVG is looking to expand its operations and create more job opportunities, giving more people the opportunity to live a better life. Furthermore, they aspire to be the nucleus of Malaysia’s national economic income in the near future.

Kenaf and Technology

Following the significant tensile strength that kenaf possesses, the fibre has been put forward for technology incorporation to further utilise the potential. Today, kenaf fibre is recognised as the best natural fibre for biocomposite material besides a source for nanocellulose from its bast. The technological advancement has allowed the discovery and application of kenaf in a wide spectrum of sectors, namely automotive, pulp and paper, building and construction, and more. Another notable feature of kenaf is its ability in insulating heat and this has made kenaf available as thermal insulator in automotive products and as a building material, replacing non-renewable materials.

The Future of Kenaf Industry

Kenaf is gaining a steadily rising demand from the globe and Malaysia is one of the countries that has a vast potential in bridging the gap of demand and supply. Its versatility in diverse sectors and industries is the key to its growing demand. The kenaf industry in Malaysia is well-supported by the local government, elevated by the private sector and stakeholders.

KVG’s footprint in the Philippines

Noting that there is also a massive requirement for shelters and urban development in the Philippines, Jazman said he was keen to bring over the technology to the country.

“We began to have talks with some parties, starting with the Ambassador of Malaysia to introduce KVG. We clearly stated our intention to bring in KVG’s platform on sustainable materials and technologies,” he said adding that he has also met with a group of developer to further his cause.

However, before he can bring in the technology, Jazman said he had three requirements. First, he needed the government’s support and assistance in creating policies and programs related to sustainable programs.

Secondly, he will also need support for continuing research and development so that the country can realize economic and environmental benefits of this wonder plant. Once these two requirements are in place, Jazman said he can start implementing his program.

“Using Kenaf would mean replacing all building materials that cause carbon emissions. It is time we take our part to altogether preserve our beloved earth. Let us go green, the right way to saving humankind,” he added.

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