7,400ha for pineapple project

Jan 4, 2008
THE East Coast Economic Region (ECER) is allocating 7,400 hectares in Pahang to create
a Pekan-Rompin pineapple integrated development project, a move to help Malaysia
regain its dominance as one of the world’s top three pineapple producers as in the 1960s
and 1970s.
The areas identified are Permatang Bedon (2,000 hectares) in Pekan, Kampung Jemari
(5,000 hectares) and Kampung Tebu Hitam (400 hectares) in Rompin, the ECER
secretariat said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
About 2,000 hectares will be planted with pineapple for the fresh fruit market and 5,000
hectares for varieties appropriate for canning.
The overall development will also generate cattle feed from the skins of pineapples that
have been processed, the secretariat said.
Currently, Pahang has only about 58 hectares of pineapple farms.
Kelantan has the largest area among the three East Coast states with 309 hectares,
followed by Terengganu with 169 hectares. Johor’s Mersing, which is involved in the
ECER, has 27 hectares.
“The nucleus farm concept will be adopted and will involve the private sector and
smallholders,” it said.
“About 70 per cent of the land will be developed by an anchor company or companies
and the balance by smallholders under the outgrower scheme,” the secretariat said.
Potential anchor companies include Lee Pineapple Co Pte Ltd, Pineapple Cannery of
Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Polyno Resources for canning, and Malaysia Agrifood Corp for
fresh market.
The varieties of pineapple promoted in the project area are Gandol and N36 for canning,
and Maspine, Josaphine and Mauritus (Eng Kee) for the fresh market, where each
outgrower will be given between five and 10 hectares of land to plant the varieties of the
fruit, the secretariat said.
In recent years, Malaysia has to import more and more pineapples from countries like
Thailand and Indonesia to meet its domestic demand.
At present, the domestic production of pineapple stands at 300,000 tonnes annually,
grown over 15,000 hectares of pineapple land.
Under the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry’s balance of trade plan which
identified pineapple as one of the fruits to be given priority, the target is to produce a
million tonnes by 2010 from an additional area of some 50,000 hectares with assumed
yield of 20,000 tonnes per hectare.
— Bernama