ECER Offers Middle East Investors Agricultural Opportunities

5/16/2010 — BERNAMA
The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) of Malaysia which is steadily positioning itself as a globally competitive investment destination offers vast opportunities to Middle East investors who are keen to invest in the agriculture sector.
ECER Development Council (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jebasingham Issace John said they were encouraged to explore the possibility of venturing into large-scale commercial farming using modern technology on the vast tracts of land in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Mersing in Johor.
“They should also explore the high-value downstream activities, such as Halal food manufacturing for the export market,” he told Bernama here.
In this regard, he said: “We would like to invite investors from the Gulf to particiate as anchor companies to set up nucleus and contract farming arrangements with local farmers in ECER Malaysia.
Jebasingam is a member of the ECERDC Investment Mission to Abu Dhabi in the United Emirates and Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from May 7 to 17, led by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Jebasingham said investors were also welcomed to establish One-Stop Collection, Processing and Distribution Centres (CPPCs) in the region to increase the supply of high quality raw materials and processed products for manufacturers and retailers locally and abroad.
By participating in the value chain and improving the supply chain management, he said, Middle East investors would also achieve high levels of quantity control to meet the requirements and demand of their respective countries.
On livestock projects, he said, each state in ECER Malaysia was assigned a specific commodity to focus on.
“Pahang for cattle, Terengganu for goats and Kelantan for poultry. The livestock sub-clusters consist of upstream activities comprising production of animal feed and improvement of breeder stocks and genetic.
“It also comprise of downstream activities such as meat and diary production, breeding and multiplication and processing,” he explained.
As an example, he said, ECERDC had earmarked over 1,000 ha of state land in Ulu Tersat, Kuala Berang, Terengganu to be developed as the goat breeding and improvement hub.
He said the target set for the goat production cluster was 403,190 by 2015, and 685,400 by 2020.
As for cattle projects in ECER Malaysia, Jebasingham said investors can take part in research and development (R&D), Nucleus Farms, Beef Breeder Integration Multipliers and Feedlots, as well as Diary Anchor Farms.
The beef cluster, mainly carried out in the state of Pahang, he said “is being developed as an integrated component of oil palm plantations.
“There will also be special beef valleys for feedlots and integration within pineapple-growing areas.
“The establishment of the Nucleus Cattle Breeding and Research Centre in Muadzam Shah, Pahang will play a key role in improving the genetic quality of cattle reared in ECER Malaysia,” he said.
Jebasingham also said that poultry farming was also expected to grow in the region with the establishment of several poultry parks and processing facilities in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
He said investors in this sector were invited to participate in the animal-feed production industry area, located on a 10-ha plot close to the Kuantan Port City.
ECERDC is a special purpose vehicle established to drive the implementation projects and key programmes identified in the ECER Masterplan.