Dao V. Metzger

"Working at Sime Darby Plantation has helped me boost my soft skills and confidence to work with stakeholders of diverse backgrounds..."

Dao V. Metzger
Manager of Land Reclamation, Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia)
Our work in Liberia depends on our ability to develop long-term relationships with land owners and the local communities. While Sime Darby has been given a 200,000 ha concession by the Liberian Government to operate in Liberia, we are mindful of our responsibility to obtain land through the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) processes that protects the rights of the local community. Here is where our Manager of Land Reclamation, Dao V. Metzger, comes in. Dao, who sources land for our expansion, engages with local communities or landowners and conducts research as part of the FPIC process. Let’s hear it from the man behind the negotiations.


Tell us about what you do in Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia) Inc.
As Line manager, my primary responsibility is to source for land for expansion, particularly in areas that fall within our concession. As part of this process, I conduct the FPIC process within communities where land is available. I negotiate with the local communities on all aspects of the land; from communicating with the communities, conducting survey of the land to crop counting and payment.

I am also head of the Land Clearing team, and in charge of supervising the equipment and operations; monitoring the cleared areas and ensuring planting is carried out. I also supervise the security aspects of the plantation and assets.

What is a typical work-day for you?
I start the day by assigning the workers into different working groups. Then I engage with my community to check if there are any problems and work towards resolving them. At the same time, I supervise the security officers at the plantation and provide direction when necessary.

What was one of the most challenging tasks that you have faced? Once, I had to negotiate with the local communities for land outside the old Guthrie Rubber Plantation concession area. It was intense but I gained so much insight and knowledge from that experience which helps me tremendously now. After all the challenges faced, today, Sime Darby operates an estate outside the old concession area.

What’s the best part about your job?
The opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge. My work at Sime Darby has also helped me boost my social skills and confidence to work with people from different social classes, especially during land negotiations.

What do you think is your strength?
I am very committed in whatever I do and always try my level best to solve problems in an effective way. Through teamwork, we can achieve many things.

Why did you choose Sime Darby?
I find the company to be people-oriented and environmental-friendly. It exposes you to different disciplines; shaping you to be diversified and enable you to find your own strength.

What is your life motto?
“Work hard and yield productive results” because it is my habit and dream to work harder everyday as though I am going to live forever, but pray every day as if it is my last.

 
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