1/5/2009 — BERNAMA
The 3,600 hectare Lanchang Fruit Park, a project under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), will produce nearly 1.2 million metric tonnes of fresh fruits worth RM1.55 billion when fully operational in 20 years time.
The modern agricultural fruit park, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Jan 13, is aimed at developing the country’s fruit industry to reduce imports, boost exports and encourage downstream ventures into the fruit processing business.
Some 400 hectares have been gazetted as a permanent food production park for the participation of smallholders hosted by anchor companies, while 3,200 hectares is designated for private sector investments.
“When fully operational, the Lanchang Fruit Park will make Pahang one of the country’s top producers of fresh fruits as it hits 1,194,883 metric tonnes with an average annual output of 59,744 metric tonnes worth RM77.57 million,” said Pahang Agriculture Department director Kamariah Ismail in a statement today.
She said about 60 percent of the Lanchang Fruit Park has already been developed with the balance scheduled to be completed by 2010.
“The output until November last year was 5,430 metric tonnes worth RM7.78 million from 14 private companies and four smallholders. Thirteen other companies and 18 smallholders are in the process of planting fruit trees,” Kamariah highlighted.
She said some of the Lanchang Fruit Park’s produce had been exported to Hong Kong, Singapore and Europe.
“The quality of fruits is under the strict control of the state and federal departments of agriculture. We adhere to good agricultural practices (GAP) which have standard procedures to control and reduce hazards, risk and ensure food security,” she said.
Going forward, Kamariah said more infrastructure facilities would be in place by 2010, including additions to access roads, electricity and fresh water supply.
“For smallholders, they would have access to additional infrastructure such as roads within farms, irrigation and drainage, storage and basic amenities.
“Meanwhile, anchor companies such as the Malaysian Agrifood Corporation (MAFC), will supply quality seeds and initiate contract farming with smallholders and private companies to ensure export standards are met,” she said.
Explaining further, she said the MAFC would build and operate a collection, processing and packaging centre (CPPC) to ensure export quality was met.
The Agricultural Department is also providing technical advisory and ancillary support services which include arranging meetings between the farmers and potential buyers, she added.
Kamariah said plans are afoot to encourage downstream fruit-based activities which include fruit cordials, snacks and bakery products.
“These activities will only come on-stream later as the Lanchang Fruit Park is currently in the planting phase,” she said. — BERNAMA
Lanchang Fruit Park To Yield Rm1.55 Billion
1/5/2009 — BERNAMA