Agribusiness to Drive New Investments into Mersing

SEGAMAT, 28 APRIL 2022: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council  (ECERDC) continues to prioritize the agriculture and agro-food sector in Mersing, in line with Johor state’s Agro-food Policy to lead the food security initiatives and boost Mersing’s socio-economic development.

Two of ECERDC’s main agriculture projects which will contribute towards Mersing’s socio-economic progress are the Endau-Mersing Fish Processing Park (EMFPP) and the Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV). The Endau-Mersing Fish Processing Park (EMFPP) project is expected to be completed in June this year, while site clearance work for the JDV complex is underway and the anchor company is expected to be appointed by year end.

Johor Menteri Besar, YAB Datuk Onn Hafiz Bin Ghazi after chairing the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) Johor meeting for the first time today, expressed his confidence that ECERDC will successfully grow the agriculture and agro-food sector in Mersing and complete the ongoing strategic infrastructure projects as planned. He remarked that he had a good engagement with the YBhg. Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat, chief executive officer of ECERDC ahead of the ICC Johor meeting and had been briefed on ECERDC’s activities in the state.

ICC Johor was held in Segamat today and was attended by Segamat key officials, as entry of Segamat into ECER enters its final stages.

“ECERDC is committed in helping Johor to fulfil its vision of becoming a competitive and highly productive state in the country’s food production sector. Through our agrofood@ECER initiative, ECERDC’s vision is to transform the ECER, including Mersing, into a major food production hub for the nation, which will address the nation’s food security concerns by reducing food imports especially dairy products, as well as creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the rakyat, which is in line with Johor’s Agro-food Policy,” said Dato’ Baidzawi.

ECERDC is collaborating with Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) as its strategic partner to manage EMFPP. EMFPP is developed to improve down-streaming activities and increase production of fish-based products by SME companies. Five (5) potential companies have been identified to operate at the park.

While JDV, when fully operational in 2023, is expected to produce 5.1 million litres of fresh milk annually, boosting the national production by 11%.

ECERDC is also securing investments into Mersing, with a target of securing RM200 million in committed investments in 2022 including from agriculture-based companies. This will support the state government’s objective to enhance food security and the development of agro-food production.

Dato’ Baidzawi also thanked the Johor state government for their confidence and support especially in agribusiness and the ACES I4.0 Web Application programme as evidenced by the Johor 2022 Budget. The budget saw Johor’s commitment to develop coconut plantation with high-yield hybrid planting materials and intercrops, such as fruit and tuber crops, via private initiative together with ECERDC. The Johor state government also announced allocation for the the ACES I4.0 Web App programme to be continued in three (3) districts; Mersing, Segamat and Kota Tinggi which will benefit 3,000 students.

Apart from agribusiness, the people of Mersing can also look forward to benefiting from tourism-based activities with the completion of Kampungstay in Air Papan during the 2nd half of the year.  Kampungstay Air Papan is a community-based tourism development that will enhance the tourism industry in Mersing and provide spill-over effects on the local economy and community by providing the Kampungstay experience and tourism-related services. ECERDC is also planning to develop Recreational Vehicle (RV) infrastructure and facilities in Kampungstay which will be an added attraction in Air Papan, Mersing.

Another ongoing tourism project is the PETA Rainforest Discovery Centre in Endau-Rompin (Johor) National Park which will be completed in April 2023. The new tourist attraction is expected to create employment opportunities in the tourism industry for the local community, especially the Orang Asli in the area.

Meanwhile, human capital development programmes such as empower ECER Academic Training, empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Training and entrepreneur ECER Groom & Grow will be continued in Mersing, in line with the concept of Keluarga Malaysia where nobody will be left behind. This year, ECERDC targets to train 200 students under the empower ECER Academic Training programme, 130 participants under empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme, while under entrepreneur ECER Groom & Grow, 57 existing entrepreneurs will be developed in Mersing.