4/15/2011 — The Sun
Project also expected to create over 2,500 jobs and 530 contract farmers.
KUALA LUMPUR: The East Coast Economic Region’s (ECER) herbal plantation project is expected to generate a gross national income (GNI) of RM3.25 billion by 2020, and create over 2,500 new jobs and 530 contract farmers, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop yesterday.
He said: “The creation of ECER Herbal Parks will position ECER as a sustainable and viable centre of industrial excellence in the herbal industry. I would like to take this opportunity to call on industry players, who are the key stakeholders in the herbal industry, to explore the opportunities and participate in the development of herbal and biotechnology cluster in ECER.”
“Industry players could also leverage on ECER’s Halal Parks in Pahang and Kelantan, to produce halal-certified herbal products for the global market,” he said at a business symposium themed “Investment and Business Opportunities in the Herbal Industry”.
The symposium was organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation. (BiotechCorp), and attended by nearly 200 participants from Malaysia and overseas.
The symposium focused on the opportunities to invest in herbal plantation and biotechnology products in the ECER.
To encourage private-sector participation, ECERDC will appoint anchor companies to spearhead the business activities along the herbal cluster value chain in ECER. These companies will enjoy various incentives such as 10 years’ tax holiday.
Under an arrangement with ECERDC, the anchor companies will provide training in farming techniques to contract farmers and satellite farmers for higher productive yields.
ECERDC CEO Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said the ECER’s herbal industry adopts an integrated approach throughout the entire value chain, and this will help accelerate the development of the East Coast’s herbal and biotechnology industry, promote economic growth in rural areas, increase entrepreneurship and employment opportunities and raise income levels.
The contract farmers under the project are expected to have an earning potential of between RM5,000 and RM6,000 per month, he added.
Phase I of ECER’s Herbal Cluster project will involve the development of Herbal Farms in Pasir Raja, Dungun and Chegar Perah, Lipis totalling 406ha and 327ha respectively, while Phase 2 covers the development of Herbal Farms in Durian Mentangau, Dungun and Rantau Manis, Gua Musang over I51ha and 323ha respectively.