Gold Strike is ECER’s new high-yielding corn

THE East Coast Economic Region (ECER) is planting a new breed of high-yielding corn
which brings 85 per cent more return on investment.

In a statement yesterday, ECER said the hybrid corn is being introduced by the Hulu
Terengganu Department of Agriculture as part of ECER’s agriculture initiative.

Under the endeavour, a 200ha farm in Kuala Berang has been earmarked for corn
farming which forms a dominant part of the self-sustaining Bachok-Besut-Setiu-Kuala
Berang Agro Valley for vegetables and short-term crops.

Terengganu Department of Agriculutre director Mohd Yusof Maidin said based on its
study, the Gold Strike sweet corn selected as the new hybrid is the most resistant to
plant diseases, gives better revenue, produces bigger ears of corn and has been
successfully cultivated.

The initial plantation phase, which started in December 2007, will cover 58ha of land
involving 144 farmers.

“Although the cost of growing the Gold Strike hybrid sweet corn is higher than the usual
Thai Super Sweet corn, income from the new hybrid is more than double compared to
the Thai Super Sweet,” said Mohd Yusof.

The cost of planting the hybrid sweet corn is estimated at RM4,832 per ha with an
expected income of RM12,600 per ha per seaso,n while the estimated cost of planting
Thai Super Sweet corn is about RM3,352 with estimated income of RM5,500 per ha per

The corn plantation effort is also expected to provide additional income for local farmers
through contract farming with anchor companies.

In 2006, Malaysia imported 200 tonnes of corn worth US$200,000 (RM683,000) from
China followed by New Zealand with 140 tonnes worth US$170,000 (RM580,600).

Malaysia also imports 100 tonnes from Thailand worth US$50,000 (RM170,600) and 70
tonnes from the US worth US$80,000 (RM273,000).

The US is the largest corn producer in the world with a total of 270 million tonnes of corn
produced annually, commanding almost half of the world’s harvest.

— Business Times