Sago Palm

Gregarious sago palm is limited to tropical areas such as Malaysia (Sarawak), Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea (5). The starch productivity of sago palm is several times greater than that of tapioca (cassava), wheat, and rice, i. e. sago palm has a high efficiency of photosynthesis. Recently, Sarawak, a state of Malaysia, has successfully cultivated a sago plantation on 7,000 ha of land and has developed 85,000 ha of land for planting. The productivity of starch is re­ported to be 25 t/ha y. As shown in Fig. 4, one tree is planted per 100 m2 (10 m x 10 m) land and one shoot from the mother tree will be remained every year. Thus, one grown tree can be harvested from 100 m2 land every year after ten years ini-

tial propagation. In this plantation, 25 tons of starch per hectare can be recovered and this is almost 3 times higher than that of rice. Approximately 1,500,000 ton of starch will be harvested from this plantation per year and the starch could be used for bioconversion. Either 750,000 ton of ethanol or 1,350,000 of lactic acid could be produced by anaerobic bioconversion from this plantation.

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