In line with the University’s policy, three main activities, namely graduate studies, research and industrial linkage, are the focus of this laboratory. Research areas which include production economics, marketing, management, value chain, trade and the socio-economics of smallholders and plantation workers as well as sustainable of plantation and forestry sectors. Research in production economics will among others observe issues related to efficiency, productivity and best practices in addressing sustainable issue. Researches in value chain refer to evaluating the roles and structure of “chain actors” including smallholders, along commodity value chain and propose suitable intervention to enhance industrial commodity sector’s value added.
Dualism problem in industrial commodity sector is still showing significant productivity and quality differences between plantation and smallholders which resulted in low farm income. Hence, research on this issue will facilitate and motivate policy makers develop intervention programs to narrow down the income gap. Pressure from international community on sustainable production has mooted the government to inculcate the concept and implementation of sustainable agriculture. Sustainable plantation research is important for formulating adequate policy as to ensure the competitiveness of industrial commodities in the world market.
Being a research university and the contribution from the Institute of Plantation Studies towards the expansion of graduate students, this laboratory will offer graduate studies at Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy levels in the above mentioned research areas. The post-graduate programs will focus on research based studies.
From the aspect of industrial linkages, the laboratory will undertake contract research/consultancy, smallholder services, training and seminars. The targeted stakeholders include smallholders, policy makers, industry players, academics and researchers.