Lanchang Project Will Turn Pahang Into Major Fruit Producer

1/5/2009 — Business Times
The 3,600ha Lanchang modern agriculture fruit park, a project under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), will produce nearly 1.2 million tonnes of fresh fruits worth RM1.55 billion when it is fully operational in 20 years.
The fruit park, which will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on January 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 400ha has been gazetted as Taman Kekal Pertanian Malaysia or permanent food production park for the participation of smallholders hosted by anchor companies, while 3,200ha is designated for private sector investments.
The Lanchang modern agriculture park is expected to increase output, generate value and create more entrepreneur and employment opportunities.
“When fully operational, the Lanchang fruit park will make Pahang one of country’s top producers of fresh fruits as it hits 1,194,883 tonnes in 20 years, with an average annual output of 59,744 tonnes worth RM77.57 million,” Kamariah Ismail, director of the Pahang Agriculture Department, said in a statement.
“Some 60 per cent of the Lanchang fruit park has already been developed with the balance scheduled to be completed by 2010. Output until November 2008 has been 5,430 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.
“Some of Lanchang’s produce has been exported to Hong Kong, Singapore and Europe,” she said.
Kamariah said more infrastructure will be in place by 2010, including addition to access roads, electricity and fresh water supply. Smallholders will have access to additional infrastructure such as internal roads within the farm, irrigation and drainage, storage and basic amenities.
She said anchor companies such as the Malaysian Agrifood Corporation (MAFC) will supply quality seeds and conduct contract farming with smallholders and private companies to ensure export standards are met.
“MAFC will also build and operate a collection, processing and packaging centre to ensure export quality is met.”
She said plans are afoot to encourage downstream fruit-based activities which include fruit cordials, snacks and bakery products.