12/29/2010 — The Star (Metro South and East)
It has been a good year for the state’s economic development as several projects under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) are progressing on track.
One of the objectives of the master plan developed under ECER is to eradicate poverty and improve income and distribution in a sustainable manner.
A project that has already made its mark is the Dorper sheep rearing, one of the key activities in Pekan Agropolitan Project launched in August last year by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Within a year, it successfully doubled its sheep population to 2,000 heads from an initial 1,000.
Its first ever auction was held on Aug 8 this year, 50 bidders took part and 435 sheep were sold for RM265,550, exceeding the ECER development council’s (ECERDC) target of RM120,000.
Bidders were willing to place tens of thousands of ringgit for 10 sheep with the first bidding for 10 male lambs for breeding of up to RM14,500 with an opening price of RM4,500.
ECERDC chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingham Issace John was pleasantly surprised with the response.
“Within a year, the project has shown remarkable progress.
“In fact, the success of this pilot sheep rearing project will become the precursor for the total development of 250 animal production units in Pekan Agropolitan with 25,000 Dorper sheep in total,” he said.
The auction was conducted by auctioneers from Pahang Veterinary Services Department and expected to be an annual affair.
Jebasingham also said once the figure was achieved, Pekan Agropolitan would become the largest sheep population centralised in one single location in Asia.
The sheep rearing activity under the Pekan Agropoiitan Project has an accomodating feature – it adopts the resettlement and insitu (on site) approaches for 1,100 participating hardcore poor families including the orang asli.
Felda has been appointed by ECERDC to coordinate and manage the project and 30 orang asli participants have been activety engaged in Dorper sheep rearing activity since July last year.
Through the promoted economic activities the participating families are expected to generate a steady income ranging from RM1,000 to RM2,000 per month.
Another project that is set to boost the economy, especially in the oil and gas industry is the Tanjong Agas Oil and Gas and Logistics industrial Park, also in Pekan.
Construction for the RM620mil base began on Dec 11 and the 101ha park is expected to be fully operational by 2013.
It will be built, owned, managed and operated by Tg Agas Oilfields Supply Centre Sdn Bhd, a joint venture company co-owned by Oilfields Supply Centre Ltd with 70% stake and Tanjong Agas Supply Base and Marine Services Sdn Bhd with the remaining stake.
Located within the ECER special economic zone, the supply base will play a significant role in providing support services to the off shore oil and gas exploration exploitation and production activities at South China Sea.
The project is expected to create positive spillover with some 2,000 new jobs to be created as well as related entrepreneurial opportunities to help raise the local’s income.