Lanchang Permanent Food Production Park Opens

1/15/2009 — Press Release
The Taman Kekal Pengeluaran Makanan (TKPM) or permanent food production park in Lanchang was officially opened by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi today to address the nation’s trade imbalance in food.
A coordinated effort at crop zoning in targeted concentration areas, TKPM aims at farming non-seasonal fresh fruits to substitute imports.
Established under the Third National Agriculture Policy, TKPM is part of the government’s push to reduce fruit imports, encourage exports and help Malaysia cope with the rising demand for fruits as its population grows and health consciousness increases.
This 3,600 ha TKPM project is one of 45 TKPM projects under development throughout Malaysia and one of 16 TKPMs within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), as part of its plan to spearhead the region’s agriculture sector.
The TKPM project nationwide commands a total acreage of over 7,047 hectares involving some 899 participants, made up of 135 private sector participants and 764 individual agri-entrepreneurs.
The Lanchang TKPM encourages the participation of private and individual agri-entrepreneurs in commercial and large scale food production.
While promoting mechanisation, automation and certification in agriculture, the TKPM also creates employment opportunities for local populace while increasing income for smallholders, forecasting a net income of at least RM3,000 a month.
The development of Lanchang TKPM sees a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries on the federal level and the State’s Economic Planning Unit and Agriculture Departments on the state level.
Meanwhile, the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) will facilitate and boost investments through its special incentives package while the participants, made up of private sector and individual agri-entrepreneurs, are involved in the production within the allocated lots.
“In Lanchang TKPM, progress has been steady. Since the project began in 2004, this modern agriculture park has already attracted 32 companies with land allocation of 2,156 hectares,” said Dato’ Mohd Mokhtar Ismail, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries.
“As of end November 2008, 27 companies have begun land clearing and developmental work. About 83.7 per cent of the land taken up by private investors is already planted with fruits.
“By creating a critical mass in Lanchang, farmers gain economies of scale, especially in terms of savings in development and operating costs. At the same time, the cluster approach facilitates processing, marketing and distribution of produce while ensuring better control of pest and diseases.
“The Lanchang fruit park could also be a potential draw for both local and foreign investors who want to secure specific fruit output from the source at a steady price. It has also large potential to be an agro-tourism destination when fully developed.”
The main crops at the Lanchang TKPM include banana, papaya, starfruit, jackfruit, dragon fruit, citrus, lime, mango, rambutan and coconut.
Dato’ Mohd Mokhtar added that the project is based on a nucleus farming concept where an anchor company or growers cooperative will be invited to invest in the project and act as a nucleus for the project.
Phase 1 of the Lanchang TKPM began in 2007 with seven entrepreneurs and the main anchor company is the Malaysian Agrifood Corporation Berhad (MAFC), Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s wholly-owned subsidiary, which are mainly involved in papaya farming.
MAFC has set up a seed garden and a 20 hectare model farm for its own papaya hybrid which has been operational since middle of 2007.
The anchor company has also engaged local contract farmers to produce papayas to meet the specifications of the importing countries. As a result, MAFC’s hybrid papayas produced here are in key export markets including Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore.
In 2008, MAFC began construction of a fully integrated processing centre which has a capacity of sorting, grading and packaging 80 tonnes of papaya per day.
“The TKPM’s Phase 2 has attracted 15 entrepreneurs,” Dato’ Mohd Mokhtar said. “The anchor company will provide marketing services to out-growers through the Collection, Processing and Packaging Centre (CPPC) to be established in the area.”
He added that a project office, managed by the Ministry of Agriculture, will be established on site to coordinate the implementation of the park as well as providing technical assistance to growers and anchor companies.
To boost participation at the Lanchang fruit park, the ECER Development Council has introduced various incentives, including no minimum investment, deductions equivalent to the amount invested and eligibility for income tax exemption for 10 years or Income Tax Allowance (ITA) amounting to 100 per cent on qualifying capital expenditure for 5 years.
To qualify for these incentives however, companies must commence operations before 31 December 2015.