Author: Enelra; Published Date: 22nd October 2021

The nursery is one of the key facilities in Sapulut that carries an important propelling role towards realizing our vision to ensure long-lasting management and restoration of the natural forest.

It is where timber for the future generation is raised from humble seeds to seedlings that are nurtured to meet the quality and quantity demands of the planting operation. It is by scaling up our plantation development through our nursery that we can meet the future demands of the market for timber resources without depleting or degrading our natural forest. The nursery is an integral component of our vision of “Bringing back the natural forest and managing it sustainably”

Today, the nursery stands nicely on solid gravel and concrete ground with the shade house erected by firm metal structures. The new nursery is capable of housing hundreds of seedlings suspended on mild-steel benches under a durable plastic UV sheet roof. It is a stark contrast from the old nursery which was held together by wooden supports and worn-out shade nets where seedlings were simply placed on the bare ground.

The nursery upgrade was driven to motion thanks to initiatives by Sapulut’s Plantation and Research and Development teams with the Borneo Forest Cooperative (BFC). 


Urgent improvements had to be made to address the current issues we were facing in the old nursery and optimize our production capabilities so that the future ambitions for our plantations can be effectively realized.

Practicing the core value of “I see, I think, I do”, many BFC members such as Sabah Softwood Berhad (SSB), Acacia Forest Industries (AFI), Asia Forest Company (AFC) Sabah as well the BFC associates themselves were consulted before renovations were launched. Through meetings, training, and site visits, Sapulut gained valuable advice from its networks or partnerships that were vital in the project planning to overhaul the nursery.

There were many challenges we had to overcome during and even before the nursery renovations began.

Locating temporary spaces to care for our seedlings and keep operations running became a major hurdle. We had to make do with vacant spaces around our forestry complex. The old nursery unit was struggling with its condition due to biotic and abiotic factors as well practices that required amending. They had to uproot everything to make way for construction work to take place.

Adding to the pressure was the unfolding health crisis of the Covid 19 pandemic which caused major delays to the completion of the project. We had to battle many restrictions to get our resources and manpower where they needed to be.


Fortunately, by understanding the rules and how to work around them, our efforts came to fruition when our new nursery finally became operational by the end of 2020. We welcomed the new ergonomic environment and improved methods of raising our seedlings. The inconvenient and environmentally adverse polybags were replaced with BCC planting trays with reusable planting tubes.

The nursery staff no longer must constantly trudge through mud to go about their daily tasks and the two 45,000 L water tanks offer reliable irrigation with reduced disruptions to water our seedlings.

Our planting operations have also since boomed now that seedling production is much steadier. The strive is not over yet, for there is still much to be improved in the nursery. Our teams are still actively working intensely to stabilize our nursery operations. Cooperation is the key to make our simple visions culminate into actual performance.