The Society of Sago Palm Studies

The Society of Sago Palm Studies was established in Japan in 1992. The objectives of the Society is to contribute to :(a) better exchange of the information on sago palm and sago-based culture in the world as well as better communications among the interested persons and communities; and (b) the development of research programs on sago palm production and the expanded utilization of its products.


@What is sago palm?

@Background of establishing the Society

@Why now intersted in sago palm?

@Activities of the Society

What's New@ 2018 Annual Meeting, see below
June 9 (Sat), 2018

13th International Sago Symposium, Oct 2-6, 2017, Sarawak


The contact point

   The organization of the Society

@Reference to the papers contained in "SAGO PALM"

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Study meetings and Symposia

@Japanese home page is here


What is sago palm?

Sago palm is one of Genus Metroxylon belonging to Family Palmae. The plant accumulates a huge amount of starch in its stem, very often more than 100 kg per plant. The origin of sago palm is believed to be the area extending from Moluccas of Indonesia to New Guinea. At present, sago palm widely grows in Southeast Asia and Oceania, where its natural vegetation takes place in not only low-lying wetlands but also dry lands of the tropics. Its utilization includes a wide range of consumption types, containing staple food, noodle-making, confectionery and fuel alcohol.

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Background of establishing the Society

@The great importance of exploiting underutilized and nonutilized plant resources has been stressed by learned persons at every opportunity. Some of them have focused their special attention to sago palm as invaluable resources of starchy food, having deep concern about the possible food shortage in the world in future. Some others have emphasized the incomparable usefulness of this plant for the agricultural development of low-lying swampy areas of the tropics, since sago palm has high adaptability to such a condition, under which very limited economic plants can only grows.

@The general understanding on sago palm and its utilization has so far been very limited: at most, this plant grows wild in low-lying wetlands in the tropics, and the starch produced in its stem is a staple food upon which local people in these areas live. In recent years, however, considerable progress has been made in researches on sago palm itself and relevant environmental and socioeconomic conditions. In addition, there has been some progress in the area development programs which contain sago palm plantations. In spite of such progress, it has been further recognized that much remains unexplored regarding this underutilized plant resource.

@In regard to the production aspect of sago palm, the physiological mechanism of its accumulation of a large amount of starch is not fully elucidated. Various questions have yet to be answered: Is there any possibility of increasing starch productivity through breeding efforts ? Sago palm has a wide adaptability ranging from low-lying wetlands to dry lands in the tropics. What are the physiological and genetic mechanisms of such wide adaptability ? What is the mechanisms of its biological adaptation to highly-saline water logging ? A number of questions may also be raised concerning its utilization aspect. All these questions require extensive and intensive research activities and technological exploitation to answer.

@ The issues and problems involved for the sago palm development, including production and utilization as well, are extensive and profound in nature, being interrelated with each other. Therefore, prerequisite is an interdisciplinary approach to the effective research and development program implementation. Toward this end, cooperative and even collective activities of relevant disciplines would be strongly required to harmonize and synchronize them.

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Why now interested in sago palm?

@Development of underutilized/utilized plant resources

The development of underutilized/unutilized plant resources and the expansion of their utilization considering the fact that the rate of a population increase in developing countries continues to surpass that of a food supply and demand relations would possibly be inevitable in long-terms. What we must do at present is to exploit all possible measures for increasing food and food production in the world so that the next generation could effectively cope with any serious food situations. Sago palm is now one of the underutilized plant resources. Nevertheless, taking into account its potential capacity, we must make strenuous efforts to improve its productivity at the present time. Certainly, this should be the duty we have to undertake now. Its achievements would surely become an important heritage to our descendant.

@The economic development of low-lying wetland areas extensively present in the tropics.

In the low, swampy areas of the tropics, only very limited plant resources have an economic advantage at present. Among those resources is sago palm, which has a high adaptability to such conditions. In fact, part of sago palm and its products is utilized as food stuffs of the local people in those areas, while a small portion is exported to other regions. If sago palm is to further contribute to the economic development of those areas effectively and sustainedly, a number of problems would have to be resolved. This is because the matter might threaten to assume serious situations in environmental conservation and stability of social life of the local people, providing that the development programs take an inadequate strategical approach. They could not be solved in a short time. This is the very reason why we must begin with analyses of the problems and related researches as soon as possible, gimmediatelyh indeed.

@Provisions of suitable social, economic and institutional conditions in the sago palm growing areas

Even though the importance of the sago palm improvement and the economic development of its growing areas is well recognized, special considerations on strategies for materializing its potential are really needed, since the issues are closely related to the complicated circumstances of industries, economics, society, culture, politics and other environmental factors in these areas. Furthermore, the sago palm production takes place in the developing countries which are economically weaker in general. In view of the heavy dependency of Japan on the imported food and feed resources, including biological stuffs in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, we believe that our collaboration with the developing world should be the right course to take as a large importer of agricultural products. In this sense, our cooperative efforts in research and development of sago palm production and utilization would provide Japan with a good opportunity of collaborating with selected developing countries.


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Activities of the Society

@Issuing "SAGO PALM", the regular journal of the Society.

@Study meeting and symposia every year.

@International Sago Symposium

The 27th Annual Meeting of SSPS

The 27th annual meeting of the Society of Sago Palm Studies will be held at Setagaya Campus, Tokyo Univeristy of Agriculture, Kyodo, Tokyo, on June 9, 2018 (Saturday).

Schedule : not yet decided,

Chair, Organization Committee: Prof. Koki Toyoda, Tokoy University of Agriculture and Technology


Title submission deadline:        May 31 (Thu),

Abstract submission deadline:  June 5 (Tue)


Lecture program (under construction)


Submission address: Toyoda Laboratory, Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

2-24-16, Nakamachi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan

TEL & FAXF+81-423-88-7915@@E-mail:  (Prof. Koki TOYODA)


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The Contact Point

 The following is the address for contacting Koki Toyoda, a sender of the present home page:

 Your message via E-mail is quite welcome !

 The secretariat of the Society of Sago Palm Studies is located at :

Toyoda Laboratory

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

2-24-16, Nakamachi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan

TEL & FAXF+81-423-88-7915@@E-mail:

 Application for Membership is here

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The Organization of the Society (June 2016 - May 2018j

@PresidentFHirosi EHARA

@Vice PresidentF Yukio TOYODA, Koki TOYODA

@Board of TrusteesFMasanori OKAZAKI, Yoji NITTA, Kazuko HIRAO, Tomoko KONDO,

Takashi MISHIMA, Tetsuo OZAWA

@AuditorsFMasahiro OHMI, Haruo TANAKA


(General Affairs) Masanori OKAZAKI, Kazuko HIRAO

(Editing) Koki TOYODA

(Programs) Yoji NITTA, Tomoko KONDO

(Accounts)  Sonoko Dorothea KIMURA


Editing Committee

@ChairmanFKoki TOYODA

MembersF Yukio TOYODA, Kazuko HIRAO, Yoshinori YAMAMOTOCHiroshi EHARA,

          @@Foh Shoon JOHN, Hardaning PRANAMUDA, Kopli BUJANG, Role ROSA,

                          Dirk L. SCHULING, Chrisopher OATES, Flores DULCE, Marcelo QUEVEDO

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Reference to the papers contained in "SAGO PALM"

Click here to refer to the papers contained in the Journal "SAGO PALM".

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Study meeting and Symposia

Click here to refer to subject matters presented at the study meetings and symposia (in Japanese).

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Last update: 4 June 2015.


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