MERSING, JOHOR – 8 OCTOBER 2020: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and the Johor State Government are leveraging on Mersing’s potential to be a prime agribusiness and tourism destination to drive the growth of economic activities in Mersing post COVID-19.
In line with the Government’s aspiration to bolster self-sufficiency in food supplies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, two key agribusiness projects, the implementation of Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV) and Endau-Mersing Integrated Fish Processing Park by ECERDC in Mersing, will be timely.
The JDV, which is expected to be ready by February 2023, will further reduce the country’s reliance on imported milk products, which is estimated to worth RM3.9 billion in 2019. It will consist of both upstream and downstream facilities, such as cow barns, a milking area, a milk processing centre and a fodder station for cattle feed on a 275-hectare land in Sungai Ambat, Jemaluang. The project will be also be complemented with agro-tourism activities.
ECERDC will continue with the Anchor Company business model at JDV, whereby the Government facilitates investment and infrastructure development while the private sector champions its commercial advancement. The development of the dairy production value chain through this business model will increase the number of jobs and entrepreneurial activities in ECER. The positive socio-economic impact will directly benefit the locals.
Meanwhile, the development of Endau-Mersing Fish Processing Park will further rejuvenate Mersing’s fisheries sector, a traditional economic driver for the district. This development will improve the quality of downstream fish-based products that are manufactured by local Small and Medium size entrepreneurs (SMEs). This will also help create new job opportunities for the locals.
The park, which is expected to be ready by March 2022, will be built on 2.85 acres of land owned by Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) in Endau. It will consist of a central cold room, fish and seafood product processing factories, as well as factory facilities for SMEs. Inaddition, the park will also improve product quality in accordance to international food safety and traceability requirements. This will inevitably boost the prospect for exporting fish-based products from Mersing.
“The pandemic has shown how vulnerable we can be when we are dependent on imported food as food supply were disrupted when borders were closed. Hence, ECERDC is investing into efforts to boost agriculture activities, in line with the Government’s objective to reduce the country’s dependency on food import. It is crucial for the nation to be more self-sustainable in the near future,” said Encik Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC after the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) Johor meeting. The ICC meeting, which was conducted virtually for the first time today, was chaired by the Menteri Besar of Johor, YAB Datuk Ir. Haji Hasni bin Haji Mohammad.
Another key economic driver that will continue to spur socio-economic growth in Mersing is the tourism sector. Over the last 10 years, ECERDC has implemented several tourism projects which has enhanced participation by local entrepreneurs and increased attractions for tourists visiting Mersing. implementation of high-impact infrastructure projects. Moving forward, under the ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP 2.0) the ‘Rainforest to Reef’ (R2R) development strategy, which is in line with Mersing’s “Naturally Splendid” tagline, will harness the potential of eco-tourism, coastal tourism and island tourism in the district.
A milestone project is the Kampungstay development project in Air Papan, which involves the construction of chalets with local aesthetics and the upgrading of surrounding facilities to transform the traditional homestay concept into community-based tourism. This project, which is expected to be ready by February 2022, will enable the local community to earn income through the co-operative which was established to manage and provide the Kampungstay experience and facilities to tourists. Additionally, the local community will benefit from the economic spill overs through the creation of tourism-related jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities such as becoming tourist guides or entrepreneurs of small-local businesses in the areas of food and beverage, souvenirs and more.
Meanwhile, the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park Information Centre (PIPTLSI), Pulau Besar, which will be completed early next year, will also act as a Rural Transformation Centre (RTC) for the local community while serving as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination in the Islands of Mersing. In addition, ECERDC is also building a jetty and breakwater at Pulau Pemanggil, expected to be ready by the end of first quarter next year, just in time after the monsoon season is over for tourists to visit the island.
Additionally, the development of ecotourism at Endau-Rompin National Park (TNER) will involve the upgrading of tourism facilities and a Rainforest Discovery Centre in Peta, Johor, a project that is expected to be ready by May 2023. This is a continuation of the previous initiative in which the access road from Sungai Emas to the entrance of the National Park was upgraded.
Other infrastructure projects in the pipeline includes the proposed construction of an entrance road to TNER from Kahang to Sungai Emas, the Mersing bypass and the LPT phase 4 project which is a continuation of the East Coast highway projects.
“The development of strategic infrastructure facilities is critical to ensure that Mersing remains an attractive tourist destination in the country. The upgrading of roads and other facilities have played a vital and catalytic role to boost tourism, which in turn have created jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the locals,” said Encik Baidzawi.
About ECER and ECERDC
The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is a statutory body established to spearhead the execution and implementation of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Master Plan. ECERDC plays a lead role in setting the directions, policies and strategies for the socio-economic development of ECER by promoting and facilitating investments into the Region.
ECER, which covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor, is a rapidly transforming region that is steadily positioning itself as a distinctive, dynamic and competitive destination for investments.
Geographically, it covers a total area of over 66,000 sq km or 51% of Peninsular Malaysia. It is home to some 4.8 million people, or about 15% of the total national population. The economic growth in the Region is driven by five key economic clusters, namely Tourism, Oil, Gas & Petrochemical, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Human Capital and Entrepreneurship Development. These clusters are supported by developments in Transportation, Infrastructure, Property and Environment to make the Region an ideal destination for business, investments and quality living.
For media inquiries, kindly contact:
Tengku Mazlinda Tengku Mahmood
Manager, Media Relations
East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)
Tel: 03-8885 0182 / 010-408 1085