Introduction

Ephraim Resources Limited is listed on the Official List of ASX (ASX Code: EPA) which sole asset is 99% of PT First Flower (PTFF).

There are currently 1,540,000,642 shares of the Company listed on the ASX.

PTFF's business is in agricultural biogenetics research and experimentation, licensing and consultancy; with a focus on Nipah Palm breeding, tissue culture, cultivation and plantation, and producing sugar and or ethanol from the sap of the Nipah Palm.

Through extensive research, Ephraim has developed a cost efficient methodology to develop improved nipah palm fit for cropping on an industrial scale at competitive costs, to re-establish and optimise the use of degraded land for nipah palm plantations in Indonesia, and to produce sugar suitable to meet the increasing international demand for sugar commodities and potentially sustainable and renewable non-food fuel.

The by products available from the sap of the Nipah Palm Sugar are syrup, palm sugar and its fruit. Nipah syrup and palm sugar are used locally in Indonesia to make kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy like flavouring sauce), ice cream and other products while the Nipah fruit is used as a desert.

PTFF has completed plantation trials, and has to date secured rights over 11,800 hectares of land suitable for nipah palm cultivation.

 

Agribusiness

PTFF aims to establish an agribusiness model of nipah palm in parallel with its research and development activities. The business model that PTFF will follow is the so-called "Inti and Plasma Model”, where PTFF will simultaneously produce planting material for the local communities to grow nipah and produce the sap for processing by PTFF. PTFF is currently licensed by local government indicating areas of production.

PTFF’s management has considerable experience in nipah plant breeding, mass production of plantlets, cultivation and plantation. They have developed a cost efficient method to re-establish and optimise the use of degraded land and to grow improved nipah palm fit for production on an industrial scale at competitive costs.

Farmers owning adjacent lands may choose to operate as contract farmers. The training of farmers in growing and tapping nipah have been hugely successful in the South Kalimantan Swarangan area, while in Meranti some 400 farmers’ groups have been created to participate in the production of sap from existing nipah stands. Ephraim has found that farmer’s training is the key to its commercial success in nipah cultivation.

 

Plantation Development

Nipah palm can grow in very low value non-arable land, such as wet coastal land, marshes, rivers and mangroves.

PTFF has been granted land use rights:
(i) in the Meranti District, Riau Province over 8,000 ha for non wood products (i.e. purposes other than extracting timber), with an option to extend the right for 25 years;
(ii) in the Tanah Laut District, South Kalimantan Province for 1,200 ha with the option to convert this right to exploitation or land use rights, with a duration of 35 years;
(iii) in the Kota Baru District, South Kalimantan Province for 2,600 ha with the option to extend the right for 35 years.

The land use rights allow PTFF the exclusive right to use the land for the cultivation of non-wood products.

 

Research and Development

PTFF’s management has research and development experience in the selection of planting material and superior cloning, cross breeding, production of planting material and flowering techniques, with the objective of maximizing the yield and returns while minimising labor costs.

PTFF’s laboratories in Medan, Indonesia, are working with leading scientists on the reproduction in vitro through intricate tests and observations. While PTFF has made its start scenario based on a 1 liter a day per plant, they have encountered elite clones giving 6 liters a day, and their aim is to succeed in the reproduction of those.

PTFF has also developed a new technology to produce superior palm sugar, which is clean and environmentally friendly without any detrimental by product.

To date PTFF has conducted initial research activities using surveys and field laboratory experiments, in addition to the on-going selection of planting material and clones.

The Future of Green & Renewable Energy
providing research, experimentation, licensing, and consulting services for agricultural biogenetics in Indonesia.

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