Felda Agricultural Services Sdn Bhd (FAS) was incorporated on 3rd August 1995.
Formerly known as Perbadanan Khidmat Pertanian Felda, FAS provides technical support to the oil palm industry and to the Felda group in their agricultural undertakings.
FAS carries out agricultural research and development (R&D) in oil palm breeding, tissue culture and biotechnology, agronomy, crop protection, fruits, herbs and other potential crops. It supplies oil palm planting materials, fertilizers, biopesticides and rat baits. It provides estate support services such as soil suitability studies and laboratory services. It conducts agronomic and crop protection advisory visits. In addition, FAS manages applied technology within the Felda group.
FAS' operations are centred mainly at Tun Razak Agricultural Services Centre (Pusat Perkhidmatan Pertanian Tun Razak, PPPTR) at Jerantut, Pahang and Sahabat Research Station at Lahad Datu, Sabah.
In Negeri Sembilan, FAS has a biotechnology research and clonal production facility for oil palm and banana at Felda Biotechnology Centre (FBC), Bio-Hub Enstek. This is a research field FAS first embarked on in 1983, collaborating with French Agricultural Reseach Centre for International Develoment (CIRAD).Opened in 2007, FBC aims to be a leading biotechnology facility commited towards initiating agricultural solutions for sustainable crop production. It has the capacity to produce 1 million plantlets per annum.
Apart from tissue culture, FBC is fully equipped to undertake research in invitro studies such as micropropagation, suspension cells culture, somatic embryogenesis of oil palm and other crops; and molecular biology such as molecular markers, genetic linkage mapping construction for marker assisted selection and DNA profiling. It conducts advanced R&D in a bid to develop new molecular tools and support for current oil palm tissue culture and breeding programmes.
FAS has also collaborated with Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to develop a technology to mass produce a bio-pesticide product, Metarhizium anisopliae. This widely distributed soil-inhabiting fungus kills a major oil palm pest, the Rhinoceros Beetle Oryctes rhinoceros. The collaboration culminated in the setting up of Metarhizium Technology Centre (METEC) at Tun Razak Agricultural Services Centre (PPPTR) in 2005. The centre produces a powdered Metarhizium formulation called ORY-X used to control Rhinoceros Beetles in oil palm replanting areas.
FAS' prowess in the area of oil palm R&D owes much to its ownership of 12,434 hectares of land in Pahang, Trengganu, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Sabah, Cultivated mostly with oil palm, this is where FAS carries out field trials. The estates consistently outperform the national average, even besting other commercial estates in FFB production and yield; a testament to the efficacy of FAS' research initiatives and agronomic expertise.