ECER’s First Kenaf Collection Centre To Open This Month

BACHOK, May 2 (Bernama) — In line with the East Coast Economic Region
(ECER)’s plans to promote kenaf, the country’s first kenaf collection centre will open
here this month to manage its processing and marketing.
Collaborating with the National Tobacco Board (NTB), the 0.5 hectare Collection,
Processing and Marketing Centre (CPMC) in Beris Lalang will be operated by
Symphony Advance Sdn Bhd (SASB).
SASB’s Managing Director, Iman Shah Ismail said the company has invested up to
RM1 million to set up the centre, and was planning to set up more CPMCs.
“Our plan is not to build one big CPMC but many optimally sized CPMCs near the
kenaf farms. We have identified sites in Kelantan and Terengganu.
“The establishment of such centres will be driven by ECER and the NTB’s kenaf
farming schedule,” he said in a statement released today.
The kenaf powder is used in composite materials and the kenaf plant has been
introduced as a farm crop under the ECER because of the fibrous plant’s huge
potential. The plant can be processed into paper, clothing, building material, car
accessories and bio-fuel.
SASB’s current production is 1,000 metric tonnes per month. It is projected to
increase to 3,000 tonnes by September this year and 10,000 tonnes by 2009.
The company started exporting kenaf powder in February to industrialized nations,
namely Japan and Korea.
“SASB forecasts the demand for kenaf worldwide to be huge especially in use for
composite materials. This is because kenaf is an environmentally friendly industrial
plant and organic material recognised by the Kyoto Protocol to mitigate global
“Companies can enjoy special tax incentives when it is exported to the European
Union and the United States,” Iman Shah said.
In addition, he said, due to the increase in the price of crude oil and the subsequent
increase in polypropylene and polyethylene prices, the demand for kenaf, which is a
substitute, will increase.
SASB is a part of the AqilQisti Group of companies, with operations in media,
technology, agriculture and aquaculture industries.Under the ECER, the target area for kenaf is about 10,000 ha. It is expected to
increase the income of 10,000 marginal tobacco farmers and create more job
opportunities. Globally, kenaf fetches between RM700 and RM1,200 a tonne. China,
Bangladesh, Thailand and Myanmar contribute 95 percent of the world’s kenaf